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Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 12:07 PM
Updated: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 12:06 PM
Aaron Donald held out all spring and summer from Los Angeles Rams activities, finally reporting for duty right before the regular season began without the new contract he'd been seeking.
His pursuit of the ball has been far more fruitful.
Midway through his fourth year in the NFL, Donald has established himself as the premier defensive tackle in the game. Though comparing different positions is a difficult assessment, Donald might be the best defensive player in the league. His dominance in the interior of the line is a significant reason why the Rams (6-2) were the first-half surprise success of the season.
"Hall of Famers aren't made three years in," Rams general manager Les Snead said during training camp. "But if there's a race to the gold jacket, he's started strong."
His consistent disruption and production since being drafted in the first round out of Pittsburgh earned him a unanimous first place finish for NFL defensive tackles from an Associated Press panel in voting revealed Friday. Donald is the only unanimous winner of the 10 positions ranked thus far by the 11-person AP panel in the weekly installments published this season.
The two-time All-Pro pick has 32 sacks in 55 career games. He's a force against the run, too. Fierce and fast at 6-foot-1 and 285 pounds, Donald is quite the bargain for the Rams this year with a rookie-contract salary cap hit of a little more than $3.2 million. The below-market price won't last much longer, though.
"He seems to have answered questions pretty quickly of how he would adapt to a 3-4 scheme under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips," said the AP's Schuyler Dixon, who is based in Dallas.
Donald was one of six defensive tackles listed on every ballot. The other five were Miami's Ndamukong Suh, who finished second; Philadelphia's Fletcher Cox, who was third; Cincinnati's Geno Atkins, who came in fourth; fifth-place finisher Damon Harrison of the New York Giants; and Carolina's Kawann Short, who was eighth.
Minnesota's Linval Joseph took sixth, Tampa Bay's Gerald McCoy came in seventh, San Francisco's DeForest Buckner was ninth and Jacksonville's Malik Jackson finished 10th to round out the results.
The Dolphins made Suh the league's highest-paid defensive player in 2015, and he has remained the threat in the middle he was in Detroit. The knock against his game has stuck with him, too — the propensity for penalties and needless personal fouls.
"If he could just harness his emotions," said the AP's Arnie Stapleton, who's based in Denver.
While quarterback Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense has stolen the spotlight, Cox has been a significant factor in the team's NFL-best 8-1 start. Despite missing two games to injury, he has 4½ sacks, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one touchdown.
"Don't forget this important part of a defense that's doing its part," Dixon said.
With 57 career sacks for the Bengals, Atkins leads all active interior linemen.
"When healthy, Atkins is as good as any defensive tackle in football. But like many of the top defensive tackles in the NFL, the folks around him don't measure up," said the AP's Barry Wilner, who's based in New York.
There's hardly a better story of overcoming the odds in the NFL than Harrison. He hooked on with the Jets as an undrafted rookie in 2012 out of a small NAIA school in Iowa, William Penn, after barely playing in high school and being cut from the team in middle school while growing up poor near New Orleans. Now with the Giants with a big-money contract to boot, the man nicknamed "Big Snacks" has been eating up offensive linemen for years.
"No one is better as a run stuffer," said the AP's Josh Dubow, who's based in the Bay Area.
EDITOR'S NOTE - The Associated Press is ranking the top 10 players at a different position every week of the NFL season, based on votes by Pro Football Hall of Fame member James Lofton and AP football writers Simmi Buttar, Dave Campbell, Schuyler Dixon, Josh Dubow, Howard Fendrich, Rob Maaddi, Arnie Stapleton, Teresa M. Walker, Dennis Waszak Jr. and Barry Wilner. This feature will move on Fridays.
Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 3:56 PM
SPRINGBORO — Police are seeking the public’s help to find a missing endangered teen.
Frista Gibbons, 15, was last seen around 2:30 p.m. Friday leaving her home on foot, according to the Springboro Police Department.
Gibbons is stands 5 feet 7 inches, weighs 100 pounds, has short brown hair and hazel eyes.
She was last seen wearing a light blue zip-up hoodie with a knee length leopard-print skirt. She was carrying a black backpack, according to a release.
Police said Gibbons may be with her juvenile boyfriend from Camden, Ohio.
Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 9:00 AM
Updated: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 4:00 PM
DAYTON — PHOTOS: Images from the Air Show
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: F-22 Raptor takes over Dayton skies | Cincinnati’s Redline Aerobatic Team | Jet-powered WACO biplane | Tuskegee Airmen P-51C Mustang | Oracle biplane doesn’t believe in the laws of physics |
Saturday’s lineup of feature acts included: the Tuskegee Airmen, P-51 Mustang, U.S. Army Golden Knights, Vicky Benzing, B-17 Movie Memphis Belle, Redline, Sean Tucker, U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight, CareFlight dedication, Tora Tora Tora, Jet Waco and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.
3:35 p.m. U.S. Navy Blue Angels
The iconic U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly six F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets in a tightly choreographed, high-energy demonstration. The F-18 generators of their aircraft are made by GE Aviation in Vandalia.
2:55 p.m. Jet Waco
The Jack Link’s Beef Jerky “Screamin’ Sasquatch” Jet Waco is a highly modified 1929 Taperwing Waco that can fly vertically and has a loud roar to please the crowds.
2:40 p.m. Tora, Tora, Tora
This is the dramatic recreation of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor.
2:30 p.m. CareFlight Dedication
CareFlight, the air-medical transport service, is celebrating 35 years of service by participating in the air show.
2:15 p.m. Heritage Flight
2 p.m. U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor
This is a rare appearance in Dayton of the world’s most formidable stealth fighter, which can reach supersonic airspeeds of Mach 1.5 without using the afterburner.
1:47 p.m. Sean Tucker
Sean Tucker, who flies the Oracle biplane, is one of the world’s best aviators, is recognized as one of the Living Legends of Flight. Did you know he learned to fly to conquer a fear of flying? He serves as chairman of the Young Eagles Program and works with at-risk children through the Every Kid Can Fly program. He also offers the Sean D. Tucker Young Eagles Essay contest for a chance to win a flight with him ahead of the air show.
1:30 p.m. Redline Airshows
The Cincinnati-based aerobatic team returns to the Dayton skies with their formation flying.
1:20 p.m. B-17 Movie Memphis Belle
The movie Memphis Belle commemorates the real B-17 Memphis Belle Flying Fortress World War II heavy bomber.
1 p.m.: Vicky Benzing
The accomplished pilot, skydiver, aerobatic performer and air racer brings her high-energy and action-packed routine to Dayton for the first time.
12:30 p.m.: U.S. Army Golden Knights
The Golden Knights paratroopers, formed in 1959, last appeared in Dayton in 2015. They thrill spectators with intricate canopy work along with their etreme-precision skydiving formations and landings.
12:24 p.m.: P-51C Red Tail Mustang “Tuskegee Airmen” - Watch Here
The aircraft inspires spectators in the air as well as on the ground.
Noon: Redline Tease
The Cincinnati-based aerobatic team gives a hint of its performance to come.
Gates are open for today’s 2018 Vectren Dayton Air Show.
The first acts take to the skies at noon and fly through 4:15 p.m.
Today’s lineup of feature flying acts include: the Tuskegee Airmen, P-51 Mustang, U.S. Army Golden Knights, Vicky Benzing, B-17 Movie Memphis Belle, Redline, Sean Tucker, U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight, CareFlight dedication, Tora Tora Tora, Jet Waco and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.
Gates close at 6 p.m., and will be open again from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 3:09 PM
HUBER HEIGHTS — A major thoroughfare in Huber Heights will be closed for two days.
Bellfontaine Road will be closed Monday and Tuesday between Chambersburg Road and Taylorsville Road for instillation of a new water main across the roadway, according to the city.
There will be no local through access, but there will be local access to homes and businesses in the area, primarily from the Taylorsville Road side, said Clerk of Council Anthony Rodgers.
Traffic will be detoured to Brandt Pike.
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Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 1:50 AM
DAYTON — The Greater Dayton RTA will provide transport to the Vectren Dayton Air Show this weekend.
Air conditioned buses will run an express shuttle service on a continuous loop from the U.S. Air Force Museum parking lot and Wright Stop Plaza directly to the air show's main gate.
The park-and-ride service will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Shuttles leave approximately every 10 minutes.
Round-trip cost is $3 and free for children 5 and younger. Cash is the only payment method accepted.
The regular fare structure applies from the downtown Wright Stop Plaza location.