Monday, May 30, 2016

After beating cancer, Gustavo Padilla is running to help others. Now he's ready to run his first Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego

Gustavo Padilla was never much of an athlete until after he had cancer. Then, guided by his sister, he became a runner for his health, to get the most out of his second chance at life. Now he's running in races to raise money to help fight the disease. My story on Padilla for DiscoverSD, a magazine of the San Diego Union-Tribune: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Robinson-Making-the-Most-of-His-Fresh-Start-With-49ers-381303761.html

The upsides and downsides of 49ers' Rashard Robinson

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Cornerback Rashard Robinson wasn't picked by the Raiders until the fourth round, but his raw talent level is much higher. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Robinson-Making-the-Most-of-His-Fresh-Start-With-49ers-381303761.html

Irvin says he wants to be a Raiders leader

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Linebacker Bruce Irvin says he wants to be a leader as well as a playmaker for his new team. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Irvin-Wants-to-be-More-Than-a-Pass-Rusher-for-Raiders-381297271.html

Friday, May 27, 2016

Return of Bethea to pair with Reid gives 49ers strength at safety

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: At one point a couple of months ago, it was reported that Antoine Bethea was going to be traded. That didn't happen, and that's probably a good thing for the 49ers. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Safety-Tandem-Gives-49ers-One-Area-of-Strength-381110271.html

Undrafted Wake Forest WR hoping to make Raiders

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: K.J. Brent played just one season at Wake Forest, but it was his best by far and he hopes to use that to springboard into the NFL. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Brent-One-of-Several-Undrafted-Receivers-Hoping-to-Make-Raiders-381116391.html

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Defensive coordinator O'Neil says 49ers will put pressure on QBs

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: New defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil wants an aggressive, pressure defense. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Latest-Injury-Puts-Cloud-Over-Raiders-Return-Game--380971981.html

Injury to Debose isn't good for Raiders' return-game prospects

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Former Florida star kick returner Andre Debose has now been lost to injury for the second year in a row since being drafted by the Raiders in 2015, putting a cloud over the team's punt- and kick-return prospects. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Latest-Injury-Puts-Cloud-Over-Raiders-Return-Game--380971981.html

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Raiders getting more than a pass defender in Sean Smith

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Cornerback Sean Smith, signed as a free agent, says he wants to be a mentor and leader in a young Raiders secondary. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/New-Raider-Smith-Showing-Leadership-Skills-380822861.html

Niners are converting Oregon nose tackle to center

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Former Oregon nose tackle Alex Balducci seems to be adapting to a new role as a center at the start of his pro career. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Niners-Experimenting-to-Get-Depth-Behind-Kilgore-380817121.html

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Fueling up for peak performance: Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls say eating to win makes them much better athletes

What do a Paralympic wheelchair racer and Olympic hopefuls in archery, BMX and rugby all have in common? They all follow specific nutrition plans that allow them to function efficiently and explosively in elite competitions. My story on athletes and their nutrition and training programs for the Union-Tribune Health section: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/may/09/athletic-hopefuls-share-workout-diet-regimens/?#article-copy

Draft indicates Pears' days with 49ers may soon end

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Erik Pears was up-and-down in 2015 for the 49ers, so he could be a roster casualty in training camp if the 49ers' three drafted offensive linemen show they belong. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Recent-49ers-Draft-Indicates-Erik-Pears-Could-be-in-Jeopardy-380665391.html

Is Mack poised to make a run at the NFL sack record?

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Khalil Mack had 15 sacks in his second season, and Derek Carr sees him capable of breaking the single-season NFL record for sacks in 2016. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Is-Mack-Poised-to-Break-NFL-Sack-Record-in-2016-380661041.html

Monday, May 23, 2016

Could Jimmie Ward become a No. 1 cornerback for 49ers?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: At first, Jimmie Ward was billed as a hybrid corner-safety. Now it appears he could be a starter at corner. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Jimmie-Ward-Could-be-in-Mix-to-Start-at-Cornerback-380521911.html

Karl Joseph hailed by Del Rio as exciting, impact safety

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: The compliments and accolades for Karl Joseph keep coming. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Some-See-Joseph-as-Best-Safety-From-Recent-Draft-380516921.html

Less pain (penalties) could be big gain for Raiders

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Oakland was one of the most penalized teams in the NFL in 2015, but some of its key offenders may not be around in 2016. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Cleaning-Up-Penalties-in-2016-Could-Help-Raiders-380043971.html

49ers' Miller morphing from fullback to tight end

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Rugged fullback Bruce Miller has transitioned into a role as a multipurpose tight end under Chip Kelly. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Niners-Miller-is-Transitioning-to-Tight-End-380045861.html

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mickens' quickness intrigues the Raiders

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Jaydon Mickens isn't big or strong, and his skills are a bit raw for the NFL. Yet Oakland loves the undrafted free agent's tremendous quickness and speed. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Raiders-Are-Intrigued-by-Mickens-Quickness-and-Speed-379806751.html

Big cornerback group begins work at 49ers' OTAs

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: OTAs begin ... and so does the competition at cornerback for 49ers. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Competition-at-Cornerback-Begins-at-49ers-OTAs-379801581.html

Friday, May 13, 2016

Top lacrosse goaltender Devon Wills finally will get the chance to help usher in new women's pro league

Devon Wills is considered the top goaltender in women's lacrosse, and she's been a dedicated athlete and coach for many years. Now she'll finally get the chance to play professionally in the U.S. My story on Wills for the Weekend Warriors series on ESPNW: http://espn.go.com/espnw/life-style/article/15521657/weekend-warriors-best-goalkeeper-women-lacrosse-leads-way-new-era

Some see 49ers getting fewer than five wins in 2016

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: The 49ers won just five games in 2015, but some analysts project them with only four in 2016. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/It-May-be-Tough-for-49ers-to-Improve-on-5-11-Record-of-2015-379396831.html

Could Raiders' Mack be an MVP candidate?

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: The NFL hasn't had a defensive player voted as league MVP since 1986. Could Khalil Mack eventually win the award?http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Is-Raiders-Mack-Poised-for-an-MVP-Worthy-Season-379391131.html

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Raiders are giving Greg Townsend Jr. an opportunity

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Former USC defensive lineman Greg Townsend Jr. has signed with Oakland as an undrafted free agent, meaning he'll follow in the footsteps of his Raiders-legend father. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Raiders-Giving-Greg-Townsends-Son-an-Opportunity-379200271.html

Montana says Kaepernick's quiet nature may be a hurdle for him

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Former 49ers star Joe Montana believes Colin Kaepernick's quiet personality may be a hurdle to regaining trust of teammates. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Montana-Suggests-Kaepernick-is-Out-of-Sync-With-Teammates-379193891.html

Despite setback from serious illness, teen swimmer Hannah Aspden is poised to make first Paralympic team

Hannah Aspden was born without a left leg but is a powerful swimmer and at 15 ranks among the best in the world in her class. Not even a recent bout with a serious illness -- that kept her out of the pool for months -- seems as if it will stop her bid to make the U.S. Paralympic team for Rio this fall. My story for TeamUSA.org: http://www.teamusa.org/US-Paralympics/Features/2016/May/11/Why-The-Charlotte-Pool-Will-Be-Especially-Sweet-For-Hannah-Aspden

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Am I vegan? No. But when my wife and daughter adopted a plant-based diet, I learned to adapt in the kitchen

I still love a great burger, grilled ribs, eggs and mac and cheese. But over the past few years my diet has changed a bit as I've learned to shop and cook for my family members who switched to a plant-based diet. I've discovered it's not hard at all. My story for the Union-Tribune Food section: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/may/10/tilting-toward-vegan/#article-copy

Pair of tackles taken in fifth round should beef up line

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: GM Trent Baalke picked SEC offensive tackles John Theus and Fahn Cooper with back-to-back fifth-round picks in recent draft and believes they'll create competition for jobs. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Niners-Pair-of-Rookie-Tackles-Should-Sharpen-Competition-on-Line-378818301.html

Raiders moving Keith McGill from corner to safety

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Little-used cornerback Keith McGill will be moved to safety. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Raiders-Hoping-Keith-McGill-Can-Thrive-at-Safety-378810711.html

Monday, May 9, 2016

Former Stanford receiver grateful for shot with Niners

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Devon Cajuste was productive as a Stanford wideout, yet was bypassed by every team in the draft. Now the 6-foot-4 kid with the good hands is willing to do anything to make the 49ers roster. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Former-Stanford-Standout-Cajuste-Gets-Chance-With-49ers-378657401.html

Raiders get good news about Mario Edwards Jr.

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Young defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. get the doctor's clearance to continue football activities after neck injury as a rookie. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Healthy-Edwards-Gives-Raiders-Boost-on-Defensive-Line-378651371.html

Friday, May 6, 2016

49ers harvested three corners, zero inside linebackers in draft

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: GM Trent Baalke says there's a reason the 49ers drafted three cornerbacks but no inside linebackers in recent draft. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Why-Did-49ers-Select-Three-Cornerbacks-but-no-Inside-Linebackers-in-the-Draft-378406961.html

Was Raiders' selection of Jihad Ward a reach?

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Illinois defensive lineman Jihad Ward was taken by Oakland in the second round despite a down final college season and subpar numbers at the NFL Combine. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Raiders-Jihad-Ward-Knows-He-Has-Something-to-Prove-378408251.html

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Billed as slow and undersized, 49ers' Taylor remains confident

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Former Florida back Kelvin Taylor, the son of NFL standout Fred Taylor, dropped into the sixth round of the draft but believes he has plenty to offer the 49ers. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Niners-Taylor-is-Getting-Chance-to-Prove-Doubters-Wrong-378272371.html

Raiders' Carr breaks into NFL's Top 100 Players ranking

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: For the first time, qhttp://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Carr--378265071.html
uarterback Derek Carr has been voted by NFL players into the NFL's annual Top 100 Players ranking.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Niners believe new guard Garnett can power a running attack

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Some draft pundits criticized the 49ers for trading up into the first round to get Stanford guard Joshua Garnett, but the Niners are big believers in his power as a run blocker. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Niners-Believe-Garnett-Can-Make-a-Powerful-Impact-378120891.html

Raiders' Walford reportedly injured in ATV crash

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Tight end Clive Walford is rehabbing after surgery that was necessary after he hurt a knee in an ATV accident. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Reports-Indicate-Walford-Was-Injured-in-ATV-Accident-378113621.html

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Connor Cook poses challenge to Raiders' McGloin

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Oakland's fourth-round draft pick, quarterback Connor Cook, could finally be the one to challenge Matt McGloin as Raiders backup QB. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Cook-Will-Challenge-McGloin-For-Raiders-Backup-QB-Role-377965591.html

49ers Hoping Burbridge can help wide receiver corps

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Former Michigan State wideout Aaron Burbridge doesn't have great speed or hands, but he produced big numbers for the Spartans. The sixth-round pick believes he can help the 49ers. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/New-49ers-Receiver-Aaron-Burbridge-Brings-Heart-377961081.html

After her first baby, former college soccer player Ann Ross felt out of sorts ... until she discovered a fitness class for new mothers

Former West Virginia soccer standout Ann Ross has had three sons, but she hasn't let that stop her from an active and challenging workout regimen. Ross says Stroller Strides classes got her outside and moving again. Now she teaches those classes while pushing her babies in their strollers, and is playing soccer again. My story on Ross for the Active San Diego series in the Union-Tribune Health section: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/may/02/class-for-new-moms-restores-exuberant-lifestyle/

Monday, May 2, 2016

49ers' sixth-round QB selection has major skills

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Coming out of high school to Florida, Jeff Driskel was billed as the next Tim Tebow. But an injury and other issues eventually led to his transfer to Louisiana Tech, where he starred. Now the speedy, strong-armed QB will get a chance to play in Chip Kelly's spread attack. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Niners-Newest-Quarterback-Took-Roundabout-Route-to-Draft-377817561.html

Raiders draft a small Texas Tech running back who plays big

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Raiders' fifth-round pick DeAndre Washington, a 5-foot-8 powerhouse from Texas Tech, is a versatile, tough-blocking, tackle-breaking machine. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Raiders-Washington-Could-be-a-Big-Addition-in-a-Small-Package-377822681.html