Simmons wants to see  `never-say-die’ attitude continue

first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (CMC) – West Indies head coach Phil Simmons wants his side’s new “never-say-die” attitude to continue in the upcoming limited overs series against Ireland. Under the new leadership of Simmons and captain Kieron Pollard, West Indies gave a spirited showing against the highly-ranked India on the recent tour in December, and will be hoping to carry that momentum into the upcoming contests against the minnows.“I am expecting a little more of what I saw in India,” Simmons said here as the Windies prepared for today’s first One-Day International.Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph sends down a delivery duing training ahead of the opening ODI against Ireland.“The way we played the cricket, the attitude we had on the field and the never-say-die attitude even when India were going well, are all things we need to continue doing well.“I think every series we need to be looking to get that one per cent better in everything we do, so that is what I expect to see from them in this Ireland series.”West Indies take on minnows Ireland in the three-match ODI series starting at Kensington Oval today, with the second match bowling off on Thursday.The final match of the series is set for next Sunday in Grenada, the venue for the opening Twenty20 International of the three-match series.St Kitts will then host the final two T20 Internationals on January 18 and 19.Simmons said the team was upbeat heading into the upcoming series but were expecting stiff competition from the visitors.“Ireland are a good team. They are resilient and they will give you a very good run,” said Simmons, a former long term coach of Ireland.“They are capable of beating any team. We have to make sure we are at our best when we meet them. That is why we stress on the quality of our preparation and we want to make sure we have all systems in place before we take on Ireland.”He continued: “You always expect a fight and expect them to give everything. We have to play our game and concentrate on what we have to do. We know what we’re trying to achieve and how to go about it.“I’m looking forward to seeing our bowlers, they know exactly how we want to play and I want to see what they are going to produce when given the opportunity.”Simmons also pointed to the positive impact Pollard had made ever since he was appointed ahead of the start of the trip to India last year.“The players understand the way he plays and the way he wants the team to play,” the Trinidadian explained.”“That is the first message we got – to back everybody and give everyone a chance. [It’s] up to the players to take their chances. He’s brought that level of comfort to everyone.”last_img

NFL Draft 2019: Kyler Murray, Nick Bosa top prospects on big board

first_imgThe long wait for the NFL Draft finally ends on Thursday, when teams will begin adding rookies to their rosters in what is one of the most intriguing first rounds in recent memory.Who the Cardinals will select first overall is a mystery, though the smart money continues to be on them selecting a quarterback for the second year running. Linebacker1. Devin Bush – Michigan2. Devin White – LSU3. Blake Cashman – Minnesota4. Mack Wilson – Alabama5. Drue Tranquill – Notre DameBoth Bush and White can do everything asked of a modern-day linebacker. They can run, cover, tackle and rush the passer. It is Bush, though, who is the more comfortable and fluid player in coverage.Cornerback1. Byron Murphy – Washington2. Greedy Williams – LSU3. Amani Oruwariye – Penn State4. Sean Bunting – Central Michigan5. Justin Layne – Michigan StateMurphy’s speed and coverage ability has led to him being regarded as a corner who can thrive regardless of defensive scheme. There has been criticism of Williams’ effort at times, but his performance against Metcalf last season was one of the most impressive of any cornerback prospect.Safety1. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson – Florida2. Juan Thornhill – Virginia3. Darnell Savage – Maryland4. Nasir Adderley – Delaware5. Taylor Rapp – WashingtonThere is a huge market in the NFL for versatile safeties, and Gardner-Johnson is a versatile as they come. He can cover the deep middle of the field, play in the box near line of scrimmage and cover receivers in the slot. Similarly, Thornhill projects well as a deep free safety but also has cornerback experience. Kyler Murray remains the favorite to hear his name called first in a class in which the deeper talent is actually on the defensive side of the ball.Here we look at where Murray stands among this year’s crop of quarterbacks, and rank the top five players at each position.Quarterback1. Kyler Murray – Oklahoma2. Dwayne Haskins – Ohio State3. Drew Lock – Missouri4. Brett Rypien – Boise State5. Tyree Jackson – BuffaloConcerns over height, frame and commitment to football aside, there is little to suggest baseball draft pick Murray cannot flourish as a dual-threat superstar at the pro level.His running ability gives him the edge over Haskins, who exhibited superb development down the stretch of his lone season starting at Ohio State. Running Back1. Josh Jacobs – Alabama2. Miles Sanders – Penn State3. Darrell Henderson – Memphis4. Devin Singletary – Florida Atlantic5. Trayveon Williams – Texas A&MSome of have voiced doubts over Jacobs’ potential as a lead back at the next level after he split time with Damien Harris at Alabama. However, that means he enters the NFL without having taken the punishment many runners do in college, and his vision, burst and ability as a pass-catcher should make him an immediate pro contributor.Sanders, who backed up Saquon Barkley for two years at Penn State, also has the benefit of being kept fresh and emerged with a tremendous showing at the combine. Wide Receiver1. Marquise Brown – Oklahoma2. D.K. Metcalf – Ole Miss3. Deebo Samuel – South Carolina4. A.J. Brown – Ole Miss5. Riley Ridley – GeorgiaIgnore worries over his foot surgery and his 5-9, 166-pound frame and just trust the tape with Marquise Brown, who boasts the speed, agility and route-running skills to be just as much of a dynamic weapon as his cousin Antonio. Metcalf’s otherworldly combination of size and speed will have plenty of teams drooling, though he still has plenty to learn as a route-runner.Tight End1. T.J. Hockenson – Iowa2. Noah Fant – Iowa3. Jace Sternberger – Texas A&M4. Irv Smith Jr. – Alabama5. Dawson Knox – Ole MissIowa stars Hockenson and Fant are the standout players in the tight end class, with the former’s outstanding play as a blocker putting him ahead of the monstrously athletic Fant. Sternberger has similar upside to Fant and does an excellent job of picking up yards after the catch.Offensive Line1. Jawaan Taylor – Tackle, Florida2. Jonah Williams – Tackle, Alabama3. Garrett Bradbury – Center, NC State4. Andre Dillard – Tackle, Washington State5. Dalton Risner – Tackle, Kansas StateTaylor has been described as where inside pass rush moves go to die because of his impressive mobility and heavy hands that allow him to lock defenders down. Regardless of whether he plays tackle or guard, Williams’ self-professed tape addiction should see him continue to excel as a pro. Dillard allowed only 13 total pressures on a mammoth 722 pass-blocking snaps in 2018.Interior Defensive Line1. Quinnen Williams – Alabama2. Ed Oliver – Houston3. Jerry Tillery – Notre Dame4. Christian Wilkins – Clemson5. Jeffery Simmons – Mississippi StateA devastating disruptive force on the inside, Williams is one of two men in the discussion for best player in the draft. Oliver could have been in that conversation read more