Friday, January 29, 2016

49ers' CEO York says Keapernick will get "fresh start" now

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: CEO Jed York says he really likes Colin Kaepernick and hopes he can get a fresh start under new head coach Chip Kelly.

Aldon Smith's return to Raiders seems likely

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: The Raiders won't be able to make a move for many months, but it seems likey -- barring a setback -- that they will want to re-sign Aldon Smith.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Did 49ers' Kelly get the right man for his defensive coordinator?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: New 49ers head coach hired Jim O'Neil as defensive coordinator, despite shaky track record in Cleveland.

Raiders almost shut down Cooper following foot injury

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Rookie receiver Amari Cooper played all 16 games in 2015, but GM Reggie McKenzie says the team thought about shutting him down to protect him.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Re-signing Donald Penn should be McKenzie's first offseason move

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Left tackle Donald Penn ranks among the best offensive linemen bound for free agency, so Reggie McKenzie might as well start his offseason by securing him for another couple of years.

Quinnipiac's Cianfarano and Boston U.'s Sarah Lefort are thriving after putting up with injuries

Taylar Cianfarano of Quinnipiac and Sarah Lefort of Boston University rank among the top collegiate women's hockey players in the nation. Each has come back stronger after injuries. My story for USA Hockey:

At age 35, is Anquan Boldin still part of 49ers' future?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Receiver Anquan Boldin has seen his production decrease for three straight years, yet was still the 49ers' best pass catcher in 2015. Will the free agent be retained, or allowed to walk?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Waggles and wormburners, oh my! Annual PGA Tour stop at Torrey Pines brings its own language of golf

Like any sport, golf has its own language, full of terms that are just nonsense to the non-initiated. My  glossary of terms for DiscoverSD magazine as part of the lead-up to this week's Farmers Insurance Open:

Kelly's offense has a foundation in the running game

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: It may appear that Chip Kelly's offense is a helter-skelter, pass-first, wide-open attack, but it's actually focused on a running game.

Rod Streater's time with Raiders appears to be ending

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Once, Rod Streater appeared to be a star in the making. Now he's an unrestricted free agent for the Raiders.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Former college athlete and Army veteran Christy Gardner, disabled by injury while serving, found path to new life through sled hockey

Christy Gardner was an energetic multi-sport college athlete before joining the Army. When she received devastating injuries as the result of an undisclosed mission she was on, her future seemed bleak. She couldn't use her legs and had constant seizures. But through the discovery of sled hockey and a wonderful aid dog, Gardner is living an independent life and is a member of the U.S. sled hockey team. My story on her for ESPNW:

Will Oregon QB Vernon Adams be coveted by the 49ers?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Oregon QB Vernon Adams was interviewed by the 49ers last week and then went out and starred at the East-West Shrine Game.

Murray addition gives Raiders 6 Pro Bowlers

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: The addition of Latavius Murray to the Pro Bowl gives the Raiders six players with Pro Bowl honors for 2015.

Secondary may be primary free-agent concern for Raiders

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Plenty of free-agent corners and safeties may be available to the Raiders this offseason.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Eric Rogers, a successful receiver from the CFL, gets shot with 49ers

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Eric Rogers, who had a brief tryout with the Cowboys three years ago, has been signed by the 49ers after a standout season in the CFL.

Two Raiders assistant coaches recognized for success

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Raiders quarterbacks coaches Todd Downing and offensive line coach Mike Tice are honored by Pro Football Focus for their work in 2015.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Annie Pankowski is thriving in second season at Wisconsin

Annie Pankowski was the national Rookie of the Year as a freshman at Wisconsin, but the sophomore forward already has surpassed the marks she set for her hockey team last season. My story for USA Hockey's Kaz Watch series:

Raiders may think defense first with No. 1 draft choice

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Most observers believe the Raiders, who pick 14th overall, will go for a defensive player in the draft.

Tomsula's staff purged as Kelly builds own staff

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: The 49ers reportedly cut ties with 10 assistant coaches. Now Chip Kelly is about to announce some key hires.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Keep Mangini or go after Vrabel? 49ers' Kelly has options

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: New 49ers head coach Chip Kelly may keep defensive coordinator Eric Mangini, but he has an interview now with Texans LBs coach Mike Vrabel.

Would Raiders be interested in signing Arian Foster?

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Arian Foster likely will be released by the Houston Texans because of his large salary. Some speculate that if he is cut loose, the Raiders might pursue him.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Veteran triathlete Ellen Hart wins five world championships in 50 days, a feat some believe is among the most amazing in the history of the sport

Ellen Hart first won the half-Ironman world title. Then she bagged the sprint- and Olympic-distance triathlon championships for 2015. Soon after, she won her age group championship at the Ironman World Championship, then flew to Australia and conquered the duathlon world championship. No one ever has put together a string like that in the sport. My story on Hart for's Endurance Sports section:

How Daphne Sluys, a 55-year old math professor and masters track standout, became a world champion

Daphne Sluys took up track and field as an adult, and always has been strong. But in 2015 she changed her workout approach and became a masters world champion sprinter. My story about her for ESPNW:

Kelly's hiring may signal a second chance for Kaepernick with 49ers

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Chip Kelly has long been thought to covet the skills of Colin Kaepernick for his wide-open, mobile offense. Now that Kelly is with the 49ers, will Kaepernick get a chance to kick-start his stalled career?

What will Raiders do about their left tackle?

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: With Donald Penn a free agent, Raiders will need to make his re-signing a priority, or have a Plan B.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Reports say 49ers are turning toward old friend Mike Shanahan

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan is now seen by many as the most likely to be hired as head coach of San Francisco.

Raiders' corner Amerson selected as NFL's most improved player

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Cornerback David Amerson, signed during Week 2 of the 2015 season by Oakland, went from being the NFL's 106th-rated corner in 2014 to the 15th-best in 2015.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

With a new year comes new vows to get fit, but what's the best course of action? Experts give their do's and don'ts

With the turning of a calendar page, many people want to set new goals for a new year. The most popular goal is to get fit and healthy. But how? Fitness experts from around San Diego County provide a list of things they recommend ... and things they say you should skip. My story for the Health section of the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Cap space will give 49ers plenty of room to maneuver

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: San Francisco has the third-most room under the salary cap in the NFL, giving the team plenty of ability to spend on free agents.

Raiders gave preview of offensive potential for big plays in future

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Though the Raiders offense went flat late in the season, its ability to create big plays gives an indication that the offense could be explosive in 2016.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Friday, January 8, 2016

San Diego Backyard Fruit Exchange has been a fruitful way for urban gardeners to make certain their produce finds a home, while bringing something else in return

As one San Diego gardener says, "Who needs 50 zucchinis?" So three years ago, several gardeners started a bartering site on Facebook called the San Diego Backyard Fruit Exchange. It now has almost 500 members, and each can trade excess corn, oranges, tomatoes or eggs for the surplus homegrown products of other members. My story on the Exchange for the Homes section of the San Diego Union-Tribune:

A year after crash that left him partially paralyzed, ski jumper Nick Fairall is making "inch by inch" progress and staying positive about his future

For a year after losing the use of his legs following a crash in Austria, American ski jumper Nick Fairall stayed away from the media. But this week, he spoke about the crash, his progress in rehabilitation and his future for the first time in a year. My story for, the U.S. Olympic website:

Will 49ers re-sign nose tackle Ian Williams?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: The 49ers were bad in 2015, but nose tackle Ian Williams was superior. Now that he's a free agent, will he be re-signed?

Give McKenzie an "A" grade for 2015 draft group

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Now that the 2015 season is over, it's clear to see that the Raiders' group of rookies was exceptional.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Followup story: Kurt Searvogel breaks "unbreakable" record for miles cycled in a year

Kurt Searvogel set out in January of 2015 to cycle more than 75,000 miles in a year and break a record set in 1939. He broke it with five days to spare and is now piling on some more. My story for, following up on a profile of Searvogel from August of 2015.

49ers' running game is in good hands with Carlos Hyde

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Carlos Hyde lost the second half of his season to injury, but he left little doubt over the first seven games that he can be a fine NFL running back.

Heeney now looks like Raiders' No. 1 middle linebacker for 2016

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Ben Heeney, a fifth-round pick, came on strong at the end of the season and now appears headed toward being team's starting middle linebacker next season.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Bowman acknowledges weaknesses and vows to be better in 2016

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: NaVorro Bowman led the NFL in tackles, yet thinks more about the plays he missed. Now he says he'll have a "rigorous" offseason fitness program to be even better in 2016.

Though offense "sputtered" late in season Del Rio is bullish on future

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: At the midway point of the season, Oakland had one of the NFL's most explosive offenses. But a slump in the second half was cause for concern to many.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

McKenzie found a gem in cornerback David Amerson

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay area website: The Redskins released David Amerson after the second week of the season, but then he was signed by Oakland and resurrected his NFL career.

Anthony Davis indicates that he may return to 49ers

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Right tackle Anthony Davis quit football in 2015, but now he indicates he'll return to the 49ers for 2016.

San Diego woman returned to racquetball and a healthy, slimmed-down diet to shed weight and regain energy

Edie Kromer once was a top racquetball player in California. But she gave up the game once she became a mother of two while also juggling a full-time job. Now in her 50s, she's come back to racquetball and found the joy it brought her. My story on Kromer for the Union-Tribune's Active San Diego series in the Health section:

Greco-Roman wrestler Robby Smith ready to throw his weight around as he gathers momentum toward Rio de Janeiro Olympics

Robby Smith is a fun-loving sort who wears bright, American-flag socks when he wrestls and sports a distinctive bushy beard. But the American Greco-Roman heavyweight is all business on the mat, where he's made big strides over the past two years. My story for

Monday, January 4, 2016