Trevor Denton | Daily TrojanA year ago, the hapless Rams finished 4-12 in their first season back in Los Angeles. Worse than their record, the team was downright dreadful to watch. Under then-head coach Jeff Fisher, rookie quarterback Jared Goff threw more interceptions than touchdowns, while running back Todd Gurley was limited to a dismal 3.2 yards per carry, after ripping through the league as a rookie in 2015. The offense possessed plenty of talent, but the coaching staff had no idea how to use it. It was more frustrating than watching your grandparents try to use an iPad. But sometimes a coaching change can make all the difference. Before this season, 31-year-old Sean McVay was hired to re-energize the Rams’ dormant offense, and he somehow accomplished much more. The Rams led the league in scoring in 2017 (29.9 points per game), after finishing last in that category in 2016. Gurley ended his sophomore slump with a 2,093 total yard, MVP-worthy campaign, while Goff looked like a potential franchise quarterback. The Rams made leaps and bounds in 2017, but they’ve managed to get even better this off-season. After acquiring elite defensive backs Marcus Peters and Aquib Talib a couple of weeks ago, Los Angeles inked All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamakung Suh to a one-year, $14 million deal on Monday. Under venerated coordinator Wade Phillips, the Rams’ defense was already among the league’s best. Now it’s downright terrifying for opposing offenses. With Suh, Talib and Peters, the team has an elite defense to complement its historically prolific offense. Phillips will be able to place line up Suh alongside reigning Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, creating one of the best defensive fronts in history (at least in theory). Suh and Donald have similar skill sets — they can both stuff the run and also terrorize passers from the interior (the duo would have combined for 15.5 sacks in 2017), and both still have plenty of gas in the tank (Suh is 31, Donald is a spry 26). Being able to field both future Hall of Famers in the prime of their careers is borderline unfair. One of Suh’s major considerations when choosing a team in free agency, was going somewhere he could avoid being double-teamed every play. Therefore, it makes sense why he took a pay cut to join the Rams. By playing next to a fellow human wrecking crew in Donald, Suh will have a better chance of avoiding L.A. traffic than ever seeing a double-team from an opposing offensive line (NFC West quarterbacks Jimmy Garapolo’s and Russell Wilson’s lives just got a lot more complicated). Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh joined the Los Angeles Rams on Monday after spending three seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.The Suh signing will understandably draw the most attention, but don’t underestimate the impact of Talib and Peters. Los Angeles fielded a middle of the pack secondary in 2017, giving up 217.2 yards per game through the air (12th in the league) and 54 completions over 20 yards (seventh most in the league). Their best defensive back Trumaine Johnson was set to become a free agent this offseason. Instead of resigning Johnson to a mega-deal, they let him walk and still managed to upgrade their secondary in stunning fashion. Talib is a 10-year veteran with five-straight Pro Bowl appearances, while Peters brings unmatched ball-hawking, upside at the position. He’s snagged an incredible 19 interceptions since joining the league in 2015, to go along with six forced fumbles and five recoveries. With Talib’s experience, you know exactly what you’re getting — with Peters, 25, the sky is the limit. The Rams are already having the best off-season of any team, but they may not even be finished just yet. Reports indicate L.A. could be in the runningmix to acquire Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., one of the best young players in the league. If that trade does indeed happen, all bets are off. The Rams would be fielding one of the most talented teams in league history, a year removed from finishing 11-5 and winning the NFC West by a wide margin. On paper, the team will be stacked with or without Beckham Jr. The only major question will be if McVay can handle so many polarizing personalities on one roster. Talib, Peters, Suh and Beckham Jr. (if they land him) are all controversial figures for different reasons. Having all four in the same locker room could be magical or destructive — just don’t expect much of a middle ground. Either way, the Rams enter the 2018 season as one of the most talented and exciting teams in recent memory. Not bad for a franchise that terribly fumbled its debut season in Los Angeles just two years ago. Trevor Denton is a sophomore majoring in journalism. He is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “T-Time,” runs Wednesdays.
The Clippers could be on the move.And in the process, they could supplement the newest Los Angeles entertainment and sports hub and the future home of the Rams and Chargers.According to multiple sources, the Clippers and the city of Inglewood are closing in on entering an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) on 22 acres of land owned by the city between Prairie and Yukon Avenues south of Century Boulevard.The Clippers would use the land to build a privately financed new arena. The Clippers have played at Staples Center since its opening in 1999, but they are the third tenant behind the Kings and Lakers when it comes to scheduling. A new arena would make them the masters of their own domain, and would allow them to reap all the perks of potential year-round use of the arena and whatever naming rights deal they can negotiate.It also would mean escaping the long shadow of the Lakers, at least in their own home arena.For all those reasons, the Clippers and owner Steve Ballmer have been looking for available land in Los Angeles to build their own palace and further establish their own identity.It also would mean Inglewood adding a third professional sports franchise to its growing lineup, with the Clippers joining the Rams and Chargers as neighbors.The two NFL teams are scheduled to move into the $2.6 billion stadium being built by Rams owner Stan Kroenke in 2020. The stadium will be the anchor of a 300-acre mixed-use development Kroenke is building, and is expected to host the Super Bowl in 2022.The new Clippers arena would be close to Kroenke’s development, but not part of it. Kroenke, though, will benefit as it means at least 41 nights of foot traffic at his nearby entertainment district. And that means plenty of customers at the multiple restaurants within the development. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe ENA is subject to approval by the Inglewood City Council, which could happen as early as this morning when the matter is expected to be voted on.The Clippers are then expected to make an official announcement today.If approval is granted, the team would enter a 160-day exclusive period to negotiate a purchase of the land. Also as part of the agreement, the team would have to pay the city $1.5 million to cover the city’s costs associated with the ENA. The team also would have to provide renderings of the new arena to the city.Beyond that, an Environmental Impact Report is required and various other state and local requirements would need to be satisfied in an anticipated 24-month process. That means the arena, which is expected to seat as many as 20,000, could open for the 2022-23 season.The Clippers’ lease at Staples Center runs through 2024, although an early-release agreement could be reached between the Clippers and AEG, which owns the arena.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has renewed his attacks on President Trump.Thursday, while campaigning at the Iowa State Fair, Biden said Trump aims to divide the American people.The Democratic presidential frontrunner also said that Trump is hurting America’s standing in the world.Meantime, Biden called the middle class the backbone of the U.S. and said it must be rebuilt.He referred to the 2017 Republican tax cut bill as “god-awful” and said the U.S. should be “rewarding work, not just wealth.”Biden also argued that millionaires and billionaires do not need tax cuts.He later addressed other issues deeming climate change as the top existential threat facing the U.S. and the world.Biden also vowed to rejoin the Paris climate change accord if he wins the White House.President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal in 2017.
Anderson, a 6-11 center, played scholastically the past three years at Rutgers Prep in Somerset, N.J. The Jamaican-born product is recognized as the world’s tallest teenage girl, appearing on a 2010 episode of ‘Oprah” entitled ‘That’s Incredible.’ The tallest player currently on a collegiate women’s basketball roster is Baylor center Brittney Griner who stands 6-8.A 2011 Courier News All-Area Second Team honoree, Anderson averaged 11.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks as a junior for the Argonauts. She was named the Most Valuable Player of the Somerset County Tournament in 2011.“It feels wonderful to be part of the Pitt family, officially. As soon as I stepped on campus I knew it was the right fit. I am the happiest girl in New Jersey right now,” said Anderson.“I did not know what to expect when I came to the U.S. from Jamaica (in 2009) and entered with an open mind. I wanted to learn all I could so one day I could have this opportunity. I am so thankful.” MARVADENE ANDERSON University of Pittsburgh women’s basketball head coach Agnus Berenato announced on Nov. 9 the signing of Marvadene “Bubbles” Anderson to a National Letter of Intent. “I am very excited to welcome Bubbles to our family,” said Berenato. “She brings a uniqueness to the program, both as an athlete and individual.”
Facebook46Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Olympia Downtown AssociationMark your calendars. Girls Night Out 2017 is a two day event, taking place on Friday, May 12 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.Girls Night Out goodie bag pre-sell starts Friday, April 28 at seventeen participating businesses in downtown Olympia. Goodie Bags will be on sale while supplies last and can be purchased for $20 at the following locations:Antique Junkie Antiques Olympia Belleza Ropa Captain Little Compass RoseCourtyard Antiques Courtyard Studio 721 Drees Encore Chocolates & Teas Just NorthwestLily’s What to Wear Little General Food Shop Olympia Hair Company Papillon Market PlacePopinjay Sharp Design Hair Studio VivalaWhen pre-purchasing your goodie bags, you will receive the Girls Night Out coupon book/program. Check out all the specials and activities to plan your shopping strategy ahead of time.On event days, re-visit the store where you received your coupon book to pick up your actual goodie bag filled with downtown swag!Along with favorites like the Electric Trolley, in-store specials and prizes, back by popular demand is the full day parking pass for Friday, May 12.New for 2017 is the VW Photo Bus and the After Party at Rhythm & Rye with drink specials and live entertainment after stores close at 9:00 p.m.Girls Night Out is presented by the Olympia Downtown Association and would not be possible without the sponsorships and donations from local businesses, government and private citizens.The Olympia Downtown Association wishes to thank the following businesses for their support:Batdorf & Bronson Coffee RoastersBelleza RopaPanowicz JewelersUW MedicineColumbia BankCourtyard Antique MallA Street InvestmentsCompass RoseOlympia Farmers MarketHawley’s Gelato & CoffeeOlympia Credit Union94.5 ROXYGraphic CommunicationsIronseeleMixx96.1The OlympianFind more information about Girls Night Out at the Downtown Olympia Association’s website. Follow on Facebook and Instagram @downtownolympia.