Predicting Bengals-Ravens and all Week 17 games

Published: Friday, December 29, 2017 @ 12:00 AM

            CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 10: C.J. Mosley #57 of the Baltimore Ravens tackles Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Baltimore defeated Cincinnati 20-0. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 10: C.J. Mosley #57 of the Baltimore Ravens tackles Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Baltimore defeated Cincinnati 20-0. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Cincinnati Bengals beat writer Jay Morrison offers his predictions for Week 17 of NFL games.

Washington Redskins (7-8) at New York Giants (2-13)

The Giants clinch the No. 2 draft pick and their worst record since 1966.

Pick: Redskins 24, Giants 16

New York Jets (5-10) at New England Patriots (12-3)

The Patriots aren’t losing at home with the No. 1 seed on the line.

Pick: Patriots 41, Jets 17

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Chicago Bears (5-10) at Minnesota Vikings (12-3)

The Vikings aren’t losing at home with a first-round bye on the line.

Pick: Vikings 35, Bears 13

Green Bay Packers (7-8) at Detroit Lions (8-7)

The Detroit M.O. — lose when it matters, win when it doesn’t.

Pick: Lions 28, Packers 24

›› Looking at the only other games the Bengals have played on Dec. 31

Houston Texans (4-11) at Indianapolis Colts (3-12)

One for local fans to watch as the winner hosts the Bengals in 2018.

Pick: Colts 17, Texans 16

Cleveland Browns (0-15) at Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3)

No analysis, or snark, needed.

Pick: Steelers 44, Browns 0

›› Bengals sign kicker

Dallas Cowboys (8-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (13-2)

The Eagles are the shakiest No. 1 seed in NFL history.

Pick: Cowboys 28, Eagles 17

San Francisco 49ers (5-10) at Los Angeles Rams (11-4)

Rams have nothing to play for and the 49ers are building momentum for 2018.

Pick: 49ers 24, Rams 21

Oakland Raiders (6-9) at Los Angeles Chargers (8-7)

None of the AFC playoff teams want to the Chargers to get in, but they just might.

Pick: Chargers 31, Raiders 21

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Kansas City Chiefs (9-6) at Denver Broncos (5-10)

Vance Joseph could be coaching for his job against a Chiefs team with nothing on the line.

Pick: Broncos 21, Chiefs 20

Jacksonville Jaguars (10-5) at Tennessee Titans (8-7)

If the Titans win, there could be a wild-card rematch. The Jags don’t want that.

Pick: Jaguars 21, Titans 17

›› What Marvin Lewis had to say at his weekly press conference

New Orleans Saints (11-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11)

Even if the Saints have no shot at a bye (if Vikings win), they should roll.

Pick: Saints 27, Buccaneers 14

Buffalo Bills (8-7) at Miami Dolphins (6-9)

Bills fans will be big Bengals fans Sunday. The locals can tell you that doesn’t usually end well.

Pick: Dolphins 24, Bills 21

›› Bengals running back wins Courage Award

Arizona Cardinals (7-8) at Seattle Seahawks (9-6)

Even with half their attention on the scoreboard, the Seahawks will roll.

Pick: Seahawks 31, Cardinals 20

Carolina Panthers (11-4) at Atlanta Falcons (9-6)

The Panthers want it. The Falcons need it.

Pick: Falcons 28, Panthers 27

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Cincinnati Bengals (6-9) at Baltimore Ravens (9-6)

The Bengals have had the Ravens’ number of late, but last week’s win sated them and Baltimore needs the win.

Pick: Ravens 20, Bengals 10

Last week: 12-4

This season: 154-73

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High School Football: These 7 area football stars have made college commitments 

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 11:47 AM

Springfield Wildcats standout Moses Douglass explains verbally committing to the Kentucky Wildcats

With the start of summer in sight, at least 20 Cox Media Group Ohio coverage area players in the senior class have Division I football offers or appear in the 247Sports rankings. 

Seven members of the 2019 class have already verbally committed. 

Here’s a look at them: 

Connor Bazelak — Missouri

The Alter quarterback announced June 18 he plans to attend Missouri after considering numerous offers from schools in the SEC, ACC, Big 12, Big Ten and more.  

He is a three-star prospect and the No. 1-rated quarterback in Ohio. 


Hayden Bullock — Air Force

A lineman from Bellbrook, Bullock made his announcement in early April

He was a second-team All-Southwest District pick last season and will not be alone as a Miami Valley native playing for the Falcons. 

The 2017 Air Force football roster had three area players (Ja’Mel Sanders and C.J. Riazzi of Chaminade Julienne and Jarrod Hardrick of Wayne) and three members of the 2018 class plan to play for the Falcons (Jake Spewiak and Sam Vance of Centerville and Tyler Johnson of Miamisburg). 

Moses Douglass — Kentucky

A defensive back from Springfield, Douglass verbally committed at the end of March

He is a three-star prospect, the No. 12 player in the state and ranked third among area prospects behind Steven Faucheux of Lakota West and John Bivens of Alter. 

He had 65 tackles last season and made the All-Southwest district first team. 

READ MORE: Douglass ready to forge his own path at father’s alma mater

Justin Harris — Cincinnati 

Another member of the all-district first team in Division I, Harris had four interceptions last season for at Wayne. 

He verbally committed on June 11

Harris is the No. 28 prospect in Ohio. 

Wayne DB Justin Harris. Trotwood-Madison defeated visiting Wayne 14-7 in a Week 10 GWOC crossover high school football game to complete a 10-0 regular season on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(MARC PENDLETON / STAFF/MARC PENDLETON / STAFF)

Jestin Jacobs — Iowa 

The Northmont linebacker chose the Hawkeyes on May 11. 

He is a three-star prospect and the No. 20-rated player in Ohio. 

Last season, Jacobs recorded 67 tackles, forced three fumbles, recovered three fumbles and intercepted a pass en route to All-Southwest District first-team honors. 

Gabe Newburg — Michigan 

The Northmont defensive end announced he will be a Wolverine on April 2

He is the No. 29 prospect in the state, was third in the GWOC with seven sacks last season and made the all-district first team. 

RELATED: In-state recruiting remains tricky for Urban Meyer, Ohio State

J.J. Ross — Cincinnati 

A defensive back from Lakota West, Ross chose the Bearcats on June 10

He had 25 tackles and a pair of interceptions in nine games last season for the Firebirds. 

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Dayton women’s basketball hires new assistant coach

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 11:43 AM

Dayton huddles before a NCAA tournament game against Marquette on Friday, March 16, 2018, at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. David Jablonski/Staff
Staff Writer
Dayton huddles before a NCAA tournament game against Marquette on Friday, March 16, 2018, at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

The Dayton Flyers women’s basketball program announced the hiring of a new assistant coach Tuesday: DeAntoine "Cat" Beasley, who played for a Tennessee Tech team that beat the Dayton men in the second round of the  2002 NIT at UD Arena.

» RELATED: Second offseason a busy one for Shauna Green

“I want to thank coach (Shauna) Green for this great opportunity,” Beasley said in a press release. “My family and I are very excited and grateful to join the Flyer family. Throughout the process, the entire staff and players went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and welcomed. Dayton has an impeccable reputation for success and I will do whatever is needed to help uphold that.”

Beasley replaces Simon Harris, who left earlier this spring for an assistant coaching job at North Carolina State. Beasley’s last job was with the Gardner-Webb men's basketball team. He spent three seasons there.

“We are thrilled to welcome DeAntoine to our Flyer family,” Green said in a press release. “His experience at a variety of levels as well as his professional playing career will help our program tremendously. His basketball knowledge, ability to build relationships, and tireless work ethic will make an immediate impact. I am excited to have Cat and his family in Dayton.”

» MEN’S BASKETBALL: Dayton loses strength coach to Miami Hurricanes

Beasley worked as an assistant coach at Penascola State College (Fla.) in 2013-14. He worked at Chattanooga (Tenn.) from 2011-2013. He previously coached one season at his alma mater, Tennessee Tech, in 2010-11 and he worked as a graduate manager at Auburn in the 2009-10 season.

After his college career, Beasley played seven years in England and was the MVP in the National Trophy race in 2004.

Beasley, a graduate of South Cobb High School northwest of Atlanta, scored 693 points in his college career. He scored eight points against Dayton in the 2002 NIT.

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Dayton strength coach: Bittersweet leaving program after one year

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 9:19 PM

Interview with new Dayton men's basketball strength coach Casey Cathrall

Casey Cathrall left the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball program after one season as the strength and conditioning coach for a dream job at the University of Miami. He has the same position with the Hurricanes men’s basketball team, and his first day was Monday.

» WATCH: Drone video of UD Arena renovations

Cathrall couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return to Florida — he was a graduate assistant with the Hurricanes in 2013 when they won the ACC championship and earned his master’s degree in exercise physiology there in 2014 — in part because his wife Grace is from Vero Beach, Fla., two hours north of Miami, and her family still lives there.

“It’s just something we always dreamed about,” Cathrall said Monday night. “If they ever came calling, we couldn’t say no.”

» LOOKING BACK: Cathrall on his strength and conditioning philosophy

Dayton hired Cathrall in May 2017. He said it was bittersweet leaving the job.

“Dayton was awesome,” Cathrall said. “Obviously, the year didn’t go the way we would have hoped, but that really had no impact (on his decision). Grace had so many close friends (in Dayton). I really enjoyed working with the staff there. Coach (Anthony) Grant is a phenomenal guy. Everyone there was straight first class. Nothing but good things to say. It’s just bittersweet. I really feel we made some strides there in terms of trying to establish a culture and where the kids we’re at. I’m really excited for that program and where it’s headed.”

» GRANT WINS GOLD: Dayton coach helps lead USA U-18 team to title

Dayton posted Cathrall’s job last week and is also looking to hire a new assistant coach for the men’s basketball team after James Kane left for Iowa State.

In his final weeks on the job, Cathrall got to work with two of the newest Flyers: Michigan transfer Ibi Watson and Chattanooga transfer Rodney Chatman.

“Ibi got there the first week of summer school, somewhere around May 12 or 13th,” Cathrall said. “Rod was the week after or two weeks after. I spent a couple weeks with Ibi and at least two weeks with Rod. The takeaway from those two guys if the fans at Dayton are interested is they’re unbelievable people.”

Of Watson, Cathrall said, “Ibi, from day one, wants to win. He wants to be the best. Incredible competitiveness in him. He wants to do the extra miles, showing up early, staying after. Just very, very mature. What he brings to the program is more of what we need and more of where it’s going in terms of the culture and in terms of an unbelievable amount of discipline and habits and what it takes to be successful. He’s got a personality that he was able to mesh with the guys right away. I think the chemistry will show when he’s finally able to get out there on the floor.

Speaking of Chatman, Cathrall said, “Rod’s a softer-spoken guy. You can tell he’s a guy that’s played college basketball before. I think he’s adjusting to the physicality we have at Dayton, but in terms of his skill set, his basketball IQ, his unselfishness and his demeanor and habits, I just think he’s another home-run addition of what coach Grant and the staff are building.”

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Urban Meyer offers perspective on Ohio State QBs, new NCAA rules

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 4:12 PM

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on against the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on against the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)(Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer spoke about quarterback and a couple of changes to NCAA rules Friday night in Columbus. 

The Buckeyes mentor confirmed in the clearest language yet Dwayne Haskins will be his starting quarterback when preseason camp commences in late summer. 

“Dwayne is the starter and Tate (Martell) is in full competition mode,” Meyer told reporters at the annual Ohio State football job fair. “Matt Baldwin is our three and he’s doing very well now.” 

Haskins, a sophomore from Maryland, became the assumed starter when Joe Burrow transferred to LSU last month

Meyer told the Pro Football Hall of Fame luncheon crowd in Canton in mid-May Haskins would get “the first opportunity to be the starter,” and his latest comments further confirmed that intention. 

RELATED: Urban Meyer talks about Ohio State QBs past, present and (potentially) future

In Columbus, Meyer also said he has maintained contact with Burrow, who graduated in May and is eligible for the Tigers right away. 

“Joe did a lot for us, and we did a lot for Joe, so it was a very amicable relationship,” Meyer said. 

The appearance was also the first for Meyer since the NCAA announced a pair of changes to player eligibility last week. 

Beginning this fall, players will be able to play up to four games without losing the ability to take a redshirt season

“It’s a good rule, and I’m glad they did that,” Meyer said. “It’s good for most importantly the student-athlete.” 

Previously participating in one play meant a year of eligibility was used — unless that player later became injured and certain other specifications were met. 

That is no longer the case. 

“I think it’s just going to be easier (for coaches). Usually you play a guy early and then if they get hurt, you redshirt them,” Meyer said. “Now there is going to be, do you hold onto them until the stretch run when it gets really hard and you need them? Because usually when you get into the end of the season you’re dealing with injuries.” 

Meyer also said the new rule preventing coaches from blocking transfers is good — as long as players still have to sit out a year before being eligible. 

“I’m not a big fan of all the transfers,” Meyer said. “I think that’s an easy way out, but I get it. I’m a big fan graduate transfers. When they fulfill their obligation, go, but I also understand the other part.” 

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