NIAID reports potential West Nile treatment

first_img The researchers decided to develop their treatment, a monoclonal antibody, after they found that antibodies taken from the blood of people who had recovered from West Nile fever could cure mice infected with WNV, the NIAID said. But antibodies derived from human blood vary in their ability to fight disease, and they can be accompanied by other potentially dangerous infectious agents, despite efforts to purify them. See also: To solve these problems, the research team “made 46 monoclonal antibodies against West Nile virus and then eliminated the less effective ones through a tedious molecular-level screening process,” the NIAID said. Then they worked with MacroGenics, Inc., Rockville, Md., to create a human-like version of the most effective antibody. WNV causes no symptoms or only a mild flu-like illness in most people. But in about 1 in 150 people infected, the virus invades the central nervous system and can be fatal. The United States had 2,470 reported cases of West Nile disease in 2004, with 88 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Apr 25, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers have developed an antibody that can cure mice of West Nile virus (WNV) infection, a disease for which no specific treatment now exists, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced yesterday. Oliphant T, Engle M, Nybakken GE, et al. Development of a humanized monoclonal antibody with therapeutic potential against West Nile virus. Nat Med 2005 Apr 24 (early online publication) [Full text] The research, funded in part by the NIAID, is described in a report published online yesterday by Nature Medicine. “MacroGenics stitched the part of the antibody that cripples the West Nile virus into the scaffold of a human antibody,” the statement said. “The monoclonal antibody was several hundred times more potent in cell culture tests than antibodies obtained from people who had recovered from West Nile virus infection.” A team at Washington University in St. Louis “developed an infection-fighting antibody that mimics one produced by people whose immune systems successfully fend off the West Nile virus,” the NIAID said in a news release. “The researchers tested their antibody in mice and say its success warrants further development and testing in people with West Nile disease.” “We could give this antibody to mice as long as five days after infection, when West Nile virus had entered the brain, and it could still cure them,” senior investigator Michael Diamond, MD, PhD, said in the news release. “It also completely protected the mice against death.” NIAID news releasehttp://www.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2005/Pages/westniletherapy.aspxlast_img read more

A Doctor Who-inspired toilet makes all your TARDIS dreams come true

first_imgA large undercover entertaining area greets you as walk through the carport of the home.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North2 hours agoNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by The Tardis toilet is undoubtably a key feature of the home and was built by the vendor last year.ATTENTION Whovians. If you’ve been looking for an other-dimensional toilet experience then this custom-built “Turdis” may just be what’s been missing from your life.Vendor Craig Heeks built the life-size TARDIS in his garage-turned-rumpus room late last year after looking for new ways to expand on his love for the British sci-fi television show.Fully tiled, the fictional time machine and spacecraft hides a toilet, single vanity unit and mirror inside its iconic phone booth style exterior. The ultimate mancave.It’s become a key selling point of Mr Heeks’ home at 3 Blackwood Cres, Morphett Vale which is on the market with a price guide $399,000 to $429,000. “We’ve lived here since 2003 but the TARDIS is fairly new. I only built it last year for no other reason than it seemed like a good idea,” he said.“Doctor Who is my obsession and, in a way, my relaxation from work.“I’ve been collecting and selling for a long time, not just Doctor Who but Star Wars and Planet of The Apes, and this space just kind of became my escape.” OUTSIDE: The home, at 3 Blackwood Cres, Morphett Vale, also comes with an inground swimming pool.Mr Heeks said his Doctor Who obsession started as a young child.“I grew up in the UK and we used to see the film crew move around all the time,” he said.“That’s what sparked my interest and I’ve been a mad fan ever since.”Despite having enjoyed many blissful moments in the TARDIS, Mr Heeks said it was unlikely he would built another one. FANTATIC CREATES DR WHO UNIVERSE IN WEST RYDE Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:51Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:51 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels540p540p360p360p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenDr Who fanatic creates shop00:51 “If I could take it to the new house, I would, but unfortunately that’s not possible,” he said.“I’ve been asked to build a second one for a friend, but I won’t do that. I want it to be unique; a one-of-a-kind.”Launched to the market barely a week ago, the property has been viewed close to 2000 times on realestate.com.au and also attracted 16 groups through the first open on the weekend.Listing agent Pete Fallon of Magain Real Estate said he hoped the unique feature would help sell the property for a premium price and well above the suburb’s median house price of $310,000. INSIDE: One of the main living spaces at 3 Blackwood Cres, Morphett Vale“It’s definitely one of the more unique properties I’ve sold and so far, it’s been going absolutely viral online and on my own facebook page,” Mr Fallon said.“Most of the buyers coming through have been Doctor Who fans and we even had the son of the original owner come through on the weekend. He’d love to buy it back but says he’d have to convince the wife first.”The property will be open this Sunday from 11am to 11.30am.last_img read more

El-Clasico: Barca, Real share spoils at Camp Nou

first_imgRelatedPosts Suarez agrees Atletico terms Vidal lands in Milan to complete move from Barca to Inter Barca president Bartomeu says he won’t go to war anymore with Messi Barcelona and Real Madrid played out a goalless draw in Wednesday night’s El Clasico at Camp Nou. Barca had a half-chance inside the first four minutes when Jordi Alba volleyed a brilliant pass into the path of Luis Suarez inside the Madrid box, but the Uruguay international just could not make contact. The hosts were the team on the front foot in the early exchanges, but Madrid, who started with a diamond in midfield, were dangerous when they had the chance to break. Karim Benzema had the game’s first shot on target in the 10th minute, but the Frenchman’s low strike was never threatening to trouble Marc-Andre ter Stegen between the home side’s sticks. Barca had a penalty shout shortly after when Dani Carvajal blocked a cross from Jordi Alba, although replays clearly showed that the Los Blancos defender had used his thigh rather than his arm. Gerard Pique then had to clear a header from Casemiro off the line down the other end during a period where Madrid were causing all sorts of problems in the wide areas. The fact that Los Blancos were playing with a high press was making it uncomfortable for Barca, who did not have the blistering pace in the final third to threaten in behind. Madrid had another half-chance in the 25th minute when Gareth Bale delivered a low cross into Sergio Ramos, whose clever flick just dropped wide of the post. Casemiro then tested Ter Stegen with a drive from distance as Barca continued to come under pressure on home soil. Barca had a wonderful chance to make the breakthrough just before the hour when Griezmann did excellently to feed a low cross into Messi, but the Argentine got his contact all wrong and the chance evaporated. Bale was next to come close as the Wales international struck the side-netting with a thumping effort in the 68th minute having been found by the impressive Valverde. Barca will finish their 2019 with a home game against Alaves on Saturday afternoon while Madrid will close the year with a clash against Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabeu on Sunday night.Tags: Camp NouDani CarvajalFC BarcelonaLuis SuarezReal Madridlast_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_imgIn Pittsburgh, Patric Hornqvist had two goals and an assist as the Penguins knocked off the Red Wings, 5-1. Sidney Crosby added a goal and an assist, giving him 19 points in 12 games since returning from core muscle surgery.Matt Murray stopped 27 shots for the Penguins, who won for the 11th time in 15 games to pull within one point of the Metropolitan-leading Capitals.Elsewhere on NHL ice:— Josh Archibald’s second goal of the day gave the Oilers a 4-3 victory against the Hurricanes. NHL scoring leader Leon Draisaitl (DRY’-sy-tul) added a goal and two assists in Edmonton’s third win in four games. Draisaitl set up Archibald’s goal 3:57 into OT for his 95th point of the season.— Adam Henrique (hehn-REEK’) hit the 20-goal mark for the season by scoring twice in the Ducks’ 5-1 rout of the Canucks. Derek Grant provided a power-play goal and an assist as Anaheim handed Vancouver its fifth loss in seven games. Elias (eh-LEE’-uhs) Pettersson was the lone Canuck to beat John Gibson, who finished with 37 saves. CHICAGO (AP) — The NBA All-Star game is today in Chicago as Team LeBron takes on Team Giannis (YAH’-nihs).The game MVP will be the first recipient of the Kobe Bryant Award. The league announced last week that it was renaming the All-Star game MVP after Bryant, who was among nine killed in a helicopter crash late last month.T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULEAztecs stay unbeatenUNDATED (AP) — San Diego State remains the only unbeaten team in Division I men’s basketball following a resounding victory at Boise State. Associated Press Update on the latest sports Darvish lasted only 1 1/3 innings in both of his 2017 World Series appearances while playing for the Dodgers. He was tagged for four runs and six hits in Game 3 and was the losing pitcher in Game 7 at Dodger Stadium.Meanwhile, commissioner Rob Manfred met with nearly half of the major leagues managers Sunday and told them to knock off any notion of get-even beanballs. Manfred’s visits come after Cody Bellinger, Kris Bryant, Trevor Bauer and Carlos Correa were among the All-Stars recently trading threats, accusations and barbs as spring training opened.Manfred said he would personally talk to the managers of the teams that train in Arizona on Tuesday.In other baseball news:— Brewers left-hander Brent Suter has avoided salary arbitration by accepting a two-year, $2.5 million deal. Suter returned from Tommy John surgery last September and went 4-0 with a 0.49 ERA in nine relief appearances, helping the Brewers earn an NL wild-card spot. Suter had mostly been a starter the previous two seasons with Milwaukee before having elbow surgery in July 2018. He is expected to be used out of the bullpen this year. — Pitcher Chad Bettis has signed a minor league contract with the Yankees, a deal that includes an invitation to big league spring training. The 30-year-old right-hander was 1-6 with one save and a 6.08 ERA in 39 games for Colorado last season.— Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas (MY’-koh-las) was scratched from his second bullpen session of the spring because of a flexor tendon issue. Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said the Cardinals hope to have a more concrete time frame for Mikolas return to the mound in a day or two.— Former All-Star shortstop Tony Fernández has died at age 57 after a long battle with kidney disease. Fernández made five All-Star teams during his 17 major league seasons and helped the Toronto Blue Jays win the 1993 World Series. He won four straight Gold Gloves with the Blue Jays in the 1980s and holds club records for career hits and games played.PGA-GENESIS INVITATIONALScott wins at Riviera Malachi Flynn had 22 points and the Aztecs improved to 26-0 with a 72-55 trouncing of the Broncos. Yanni Wetzell had 14 points and seven rebounds for San Diego State, while Matt Mitchell delivered 11 points, seven boards and five steals.In other top-25 games Sunday:— Collin Gillespie scored a season-high 29 points and 15th-ranked Villanova finished 4-0 against Philadelphia’s Big 5 schools by trouncing Temple, 76-56. Jermaine Samuels added 13 points and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had 10 in the Wildcat’s seventh straight win over the Owls.— Luka Garza dropped in 24 points and No. 21 Iowa closed on an 11-0 run to pull out a 58-55 victory at Minnesota. Golden Gophers center Daniel Oturu missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw attempt with a chance to tie the game with 3.8 seconds left.NHL-SCHEDULE NASCAR’s season-opening race was postponed following a second rain delay, pushing the event into Monday. It’s the second time in 62 years and first time since 2012 that “The Great American Race” will finish on a Monday.Pole-sitter Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the leader 20 laps into the race when the rain returned, sending drivers back to pit road.The first delay lasted 50 minutes and came moments after the presidential motorcade completed a ceremonial parade lap around the 2 1/2-mile track. The second stoppage was prompted by heavier rain, further soaking a racing surface that takes hours to dry.NBA-ALL-STAR GAMENBA All-Stars in action NHL-NEWSIslanders get blueline help with GreeneUNDATED (AP) — The New York Islanders have solidified their defense for the playoff push by acquiring Devils captain Andy Greene for blueline prospect David Quenneville (KWEHN-vihl) and a second-round pick in the 2021 draft.The Islanders have been searching for a quality defenseman since losing Adam Pelech (PEH’-lehk) to an Achilles tendon injury on Jan. 2. Greene also gives them a lefty-shooting defender on a team filled with right-handed defensemen.Also in the NHL:center_img Inbee Park wins Australian OpenADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Seven-time major champion Inbee Park saw a seven shot lead shrink to two Sunday before winning the Women’s Australian Open by three strokes over Amy Olson.Park closed with a 1-over 74 for a 14 under total in her first LPGA title in almost two years. Park moved seven strokes ahead of the field early on the back nine, but she walked off the 16th green just two in front of Olson before claiming her 20th LPGA victory.PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS-CHUBB CLASSICParel wins in Naples — The Ducks’ postponed game against the visiting Blues will be played March 11. The game began last Tuesday and was stopped when defenseman Jay Bouwmeester collapsed on the bench during the first period. The game will begin with a 1-1 score, as it was at the time of the postponement. It will follow a full 60-minute format.MLB-NEWSDarvish says Astros should lose World Series titleUNDATED (AP) — Yu Darvish has chimed in on Houston’s sign-stealing scheme, just over two years after getting rocked by the Astros in the World Series.The Chicago Cubs pitcher says the Astros should be stripped of their 2017 championship, comparing them to an Olympian who loses a gold medal because of cheating. Darvish says he knows the Astros were stealing signs, but he acknowledged that he didn’t pitch his best during the 2017 Fall Classic. NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Scott Parel closed with an 8-under 63 to overcome a three-stroke deficit and win the Chubb Classic by two shots.It’s Parel’s third career victory on the PGA Tour Champions surpassing $5 million for his career. It also moves him atop the Charles Schwab Cup standings for the first time in his career.Bob Estes shot 64 to end up second. Kevin Sutherland fired a 67 to finish in a third-place tie with Bernhard Langer, who closed with a 69. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNASCAR-DAYTONA 500Daytona 500 underway after rain delayDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — It’s going to take another day to determine the winner of the Daytona 500. LOS ANGELES (AP) — Adam Scott has another victory at Riviera, and this time it counts.Scott survived a calamitous final round with just enough clutch putts to take the PGA’s Geneisis Invitational. He closed with a 1-under 70 for a two-stroke victory over Matt Kuchar, Scott Brown and Sung Kang.The victory comes 15 years after Scott won a playoff at Riviera that didn’t count as official because rain shortened the tournament to 36 holes. He earned every bit of this victory, his 14th on the PGA Tour and 29th worldwide.Nearly a dozen players had a chance to win. Five players had a share of the lead at some point.LPGA-WOMEN’S AUSTRALIAN OPEN Bruins, Pens winUNDATED (AP) — The Boston Bruins have expanded their lead in the NHL’s Atlantic Division, while the Pittsburgh Penguins have inched two points closer to the Metropolitan Division lead.Charlie Coyle scored the Bruins’ second short-handed goal in as many days to give Boston a 2-0 lead in the second period of a 3-1 victory over the Rangers. Charlie McAvoy tallied late in the first period and Patrice Bergeron (pah-TREES’ BEHR’-zhuh-rahn) added an empty-netter to secure the Bruins’ eighth win in nine gamesJaroslav Halak (YAH’-rah-slahv hah-LAHK’) stopped 25 shots and blanked the Rangers until Mika Zibanejad (MEE’-kuh zih-BAN’-eh-jad) beat him midway through the third period.The win pushes the Bruins three points ahead of Tampa Bay for both the Atlantic Division and overall lead. February 16, 2020last_img read more

Fantasy Baseball Trade Value: Zack Wheeler, Brandon Lowe among buy-low, sell-high candidates

first_imgFantasy Baseball Trade Value: Stock risingJ.P. Crawford, SS, SEA – Crawford is a former first round pick and he was ranked as a top-20 prospect every year from 2015-2018. He made his debut in 2017 at age 22 and he struggled to a .214 batting average across 70 at-bats. He then struggled again in 2018 posting the same batting average, but across 117 at-bats. His struggles at the pro level led to him being shipped to Seattle (from the Phillies) via trade this past offseason. He made his debut with the Mariners on May 10 and he has hit .310 with three home runs and 22 RBI in 33 games for them. Keep in mind, this kid is still just 24-years old and we may have given up on him too soon. While is .396 BABIP is far from sustainable and he does have regression coming, there are some things in his profile that show a player on the rise. Both his hard contact and soft contact rates have improved each year and they are currently 35.1-percent and 17.0-percent, respectively. Nothing to write home about, but they are solid and it’s a positive sign that they are improving. His best mark is his 30.9-percent line drive rate, which would be the fourth best in all of baseball if he had enough plate appearances to qualify. It’s important to keep expectations in check for Crawford, but he is a player on the rise and one we should be aware of. Jeff McNeil, 2B, OF, NYM – McNeil has hit for a fantastic batting average his entire pro career and this year is no different as he is currently hitting .348 (best in all of baseball). While that high of an average gives you fantasy relevance on its own, his counting stats have left a bit to be desired as he had just two home runs, zero steals, 17 RBI, and 21 runs scored through 51 games while hitting .335. However, over his last 20 games he has been doing it all, hitting .378 with four home runs, three steals, 17 RBI, and 16 runs scored. His strong play landed him a spot on the NL all-star roster, not bad for a kid that was drafted in the 12th round and didn’t make his MLB debut until he was 26. If we take a deeper dive into his profile there are a lot of positives that stand out. His 12.2-percent strikeout rate is 13th best in baseball and his .412 OBP is fourth in baseball. His 12.6-percent soft contact rate is in the top-30 and he has a solid 39.8-percent hard contact rate (up over nine percent from last season). He is a bit of a throwback player with grit and grind, compared to today’s era of homerun-or-bust baseball. Zack Wheeler, SP, NYM – Wheeler has a 4.51 ERA this season, but anyone who has followed him or watched him pitch, knows he has been much better than the ERA shows. His 9.61 K/9 is the highest mark of his career, but his 67.2-percent LOB is by far the worst mark of his career. A higher strikeout rate should lead to an improved LOB rate, not a worse one.  His line drive, ground ball, and fly ball rates against all look exactly the same as they did last season when he posted a 3.31 ERA. Add it all up and it leads to him having a FIP and xFIP in the threes and showing us how he has been unlucky. Well, it finally looks like things are starting to go his way a bit. In his last two starts he has totaled 13 innings and given up just two earned runs while facing two tough offenses in the Cubs and Phillies. Wheeler has ace-caliber stuff with his 97-mph fastball (second highest among starting pitchers) and 92 mph slider. There is no reason to believe that he won’t have a strong second half. Fantasy Baseball Trade Value: Stock fallingBrandon Lowe, 2B, TB – Lowe was having a fantastic season, hitting .293 with 15 home runs and 44 RBI through 63 games, but there a lot of things in his profile that were concerning, like his strikeout rate that was above 35-percent at the time and his BABIP which was above .390 at the time. It now appears that the regression that his profile was pointing to is finally hitting him, over his last 12 games he is hitting .136 (6-44) with zero home runs, three RBI, and 19 strikeouts. His BABIP has dropped to its current .373 mark, which is still far higher than where it will most likely finish. His 41.6-percent hard contact rate and 11.6-percent soft contact rate are both strong, but when you’re striking out in more than a 1/3 of your plate appearances it’s going to be very difficult to hit for a decent batting average, barring an extremely lucky BABIP. There’s a reason his xBA to this point is a lousy .234. This is someone I would sell high on before his average drops even further down. Jake Arrieta, SP, PHI – Arrieta is a shell of his former self and this is not really a player you want to own outside of deep leagues. He should help out in wins, but that’s about it. He currently has a 4.43 ERA and that number is actually lower than his FIP, xFIP, and SIERA. His strikeout rate continues to plummet and his current 7.03 K/9 is his lowest mark since 2011. He is giving up hard contact (37.9-percent) at the highest rate of his career while inducing soft contact (16.8-percent) at the lowest rate of his career. Over his last six starts he has a 6.15 ERA, with 42 hits against, nine home runs, 14 walks, and only 22 strikeouts across 33.2 innings pitched. He has given up 18 home runs this season, which is more than anyone in the National League. Again, this is not someone worth owing in 10-teamers and there may even be better options in 12-teamers.  Scooter Gennett, 2B, CIN – Gennett is off to a rough start since returning from IL, going 2-for-12 with zero extra base hits and three strikeouts. Of course, that is a very small sample and it shouldn’t have his stock any lower, but we all know how impatient fantasy owners can be and if he can struggle for another game or two it may create a buy-low window that you should be ready to jump on. Keep in mind that his last two seasons have been fantastic as he has compiled a .303 batting average, 50 home runs, and 189 RBI across 295 games (1045 at-bats). This is someone I would be targeting to acquire before he heats up and it’s also important to keep in mind that this Reds lineup is probably the best that he has been a part of (which could mean more RBI and more runs scored). Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: Potential waiver wire pickupDrew Pomeranz, SP, SF – Pomeranz has been awful this season with a 6.25 ERA and 1.72 WHIP across 15 starts, but he is someone that was a pretty good pitcher from 2014-2017 and he is still only 30-years old. Outside of one start against the Dodgers on June 19th when he got hammered for seven earned runs, he had a fantastic month of June. Across his other four starts in the month, he compiled 20.0 innings while giving up just two earned runs and striking out 30! He has a 10.94 K/9 for the season and that is an impressively high number and one to take note of. He has a .370 BABIP against this season which is very unlucky and a big reason why his xFIP is only 4.42, compared to that awful ERA he has. I am not saying to run out and grab this guy in 10-teamers, but he is someone that could have deep league relevance (or use as a streamer) the rest of the way and people do not realize it. Keep in mind that he gets to pitch half of his games in Oracle Park, which ranks as a top-five pitchers park. Michael Wacha, SP, STL – Wacha, much like Pomeranz, has been awful this year, pitching to a 5.30 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. His struggles led to a demotion out of the Cardinals starting rotation, but since returning to the rotation on June 10th, he has pitched pretty well; in that span he has made four starts and compiled a 3.13 ERA while striking out 14. Keep in mind that Wacha went 8-2 with a 3.20 ERA last season and had four seasons (out of six) with a sub-3.50 ERA prior to this season. The peripherals on Wacha this season are far less pretty than they are for Pomeranz though, as he really hasn’t been unlucky, but just bad. However, as mentioned, he does have a solid track record and he is pitching well of late. I wouldn’t really recommend adding him anywhere yet, but keep an eye on him and see if the success continues. Though not intended, this week we are taking a look at a few veteran pitchers who have had mixed results this season and some left-handed middle infielders. Like any Stock Watch Report, it’s important to take note that while a player can have a rising or falling stock, it doesn’t always mean that it is a rise or fall that we should believe in. A player with a rising stock can be someone we believe in, while someone else with a rising stock is someone that has been lucky and you should try to sell high on. A falling stock can work just the same, but in an opposite way. Without further ado, let’s dive in! MORE: Fantasy Alarm PRO toolslast_img read more

Here’s how Lamar Miller’s free-agent signing fits into Patriots’, Bill Belichick’s plans

first_imgThe Patriots agreed to terms on a one-year deal with 29-year-old running back Lamar Miller on Monday, according to ESPN — a move that adds to their already crowded backfield.Miller is the type of player New England loves: inexpensive, multi-dimensional and capable of proving the rest of the league should not have cast him aside. Miller, coming off a torn ACL, will need to show he’s physically up to par in order to crack coach Bill Belichick’s rotation of running backs. But in terms of what he looks like near his peak, he’s miles ahead of everyone the Patriots have outside of James White, who plays a different backfield role. It should also be noted that 2018 first-round draft pick Sony Michel is out indefinitely with a foot injury.So how might Belichick use Miller in an offense led by Cam Newton, not Tom Brady? There are several possibilities, assuming he resembles where he was two years ago, when he averaged 4.6 yards per carry with the Texans and racked up 1,136 all-purpose yards.MORE: List of 2020 NFL opt-outsFor a team that’s losing a significant chunk of players to coronavirus-related opt-outs, the addition of Miller represents a rare boost.Here’s a look at what fans should take from the Patriots’ move:What does Lamar Miller’s contract look like?ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the deal is for one year and is still pending a physical. The exact value of the contract is not yet known.Former Texans’ RB Lamar Miller and the Patriots reached agreement on a one-year deal, pending a physical, per @RosenhausSports.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 10, 2020What does signing Lamar Miller mean for Sony Michel?Michel has been a disappointment since New England used a first-round pick on him in 2018. After an injury-shortened rookie campaign in which he showed promise, he averaged 3.7 yards per carry last year and was considered average to below-average by more advanced metrics. Offseason foot surgery will limit the time he has on the field this year.Still, Miller’s presence probably shouldn’t be seen as a threat to Michel. Miller is at the back end of his career and coming in on a one-year deal. Michel is 25 and under contract beyond 2020. While Michel needs to step up following his return to action, Miller at this point isn’t really relevant to him. Will Lamar Miller ever start for the Patriots?It would be useless to attempt to decipher what Belichick is thinking at any given moment, but it wouldn’t be surprising for Miller to have multiple games with at least a dozen carries. Outside of 2016, he has been a lead back averaging no more than 16 or 17 touches per contest, meaning he would never be used in an old-school workhorse role. As the run-oriented half of a pairing with a receiving back, though, he could certainly be designated the starter in 2020.Why did the Patriots sign Lamar Miller?Miller is a low-risk veteran presence who could compete for a significant role with a team in transition after the departure of Tom Brady. It might not work out, but there’s no real downside here.Does Lamar Miller fit with James White?James White fits with everyone, really, and his presence as a receiving back has no bearing on what Miller will provide. That said, Miller does give the Patriots a second super shifty option to attack defenses.last_img read more