SOELDEN, Austria (AP) - Lara Gut of Switzerland held on to her commanding first-run lead to win the season-opening women's World Cup giant slalom on Saturday while favorites Tina Maze of Slovenia and Tessa Worley of France struggled.
It was Gut's fourth career victory but the first in GS.
The Swiss skier led the field by 0.77 after the opening run before finishing in an aggregate 2 minutes, 25.16 seconds. Kathrin Zettel of Austria came 0.84 back in second and Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany took third, 1.28 off the lead.
Overall World Cup champion Maze was 3.05 behind in 18th, and world GS champion Worley trailed Gut by 3.31 in 21st.
Four-time overall champion Lindsey Vonn skipped the race and plans to start her season next month after recovering from knee surgery.
SOELDEN, Austria (AP) - Lara Gut of Switzerland held on to her commanding first-run lead to win the season-opening women's World Cup giant slalom on Saturday while favorites Tina Maze of Slovenia and Tessa Worley of France struggled.
SHANGHAI (AP) Luke Guthrie stumbled at the end of the third round Saturday and wound up tied for the lead with Rafa Cabrera-Bello in the BMW Masters.
Guthrie has led this European Tour event since his 65 in the opening round, and he had a three-shot lead at one point on the back nine at Lake Malaren. But his tee shot caught the bunker on the 16th, leading to a bogey. And he was in such an awkward spot on the 18th green that Guthrie felt his best option was to chip off the putting surface. He missed an 8-foot putt to take another bogey for an even-par 72.
Cabrera-Bello was far more efficient, keeping bogeys off his card in a round of 67. His final birdie on the par-3 17th turned out to be good enough for a share of the lead.
They were at 8-under 208, one shot ahead of Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.
Even though he finished poorly, Guthrie still managed to see the big picture. In his first trip to Asia, his first time playing a regular European Tour event filled with names he has only seen in print, he had a tie for the lead with one round to go.
"Beginning of the week, if I was tied going into the fourth round, I'd have taken it, take my chances for tomorrow," Guthrie said. "I'm excited for the day. I just kind of let a few shots get away toward the end, and that's never run. But I'm tied for the lead going into tomorrow. I'm excited."
A win would allow Guthrie to stay in Shanghai one more week for the HSBC Champions, a World Golf Championship that counts toward the PGA Tour. There's more at stake for him than that. Because of the strong field at the BMW Masters, a win might be enough to put Guthrie well inside the top 50 in the world.
Suddenly, though, those last 18 holes feels like a long way to go.
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano had a 67 and was one shot behind. Ten other players were within five shots of the lead. Lee Westwood thought he might be closer until he finished with back-to-back bogeys for a 70, leaving him five shots behind. Peter Uihlein had a 69 and also was five back.
Rory McIlroy ran off four straight birdies to start the back nine and was trying to work his way into contention until he failed to birdie the par-5 15th, and then took double bogey on his last hole for a 71 that left him six shots behind.
John Daly's return to golf, which looked so promising in the opening two rounds, fell apart on a windy afternoon. He took a pair of triple bogeys and shot 44 on the back nine, sending him to a 78 and out of contention. Daly had been within five shots of the lead until the back nine.
It didn't look like anyone would get close to Guthrie, the only player to reach 10-under at any point. Cabrera-Bello opened with two straight birdies, and while he only made two more on the back nine, he plodded along in the wind and never dropped a shot.
The Spaniard will be going for his third European Tour win.
"I'm not like really excited or anything," he said. "I'm happy, I'm proud, I'm confident and I'm enjoying the tournament so far. Hopefully, tomorrow I can keep those feelings and take them on to the golf course with me, go out there, play my best and enjoy."
Fernandez-Castano looked like he would drop shots at the end, like so many other players. His tee shot went into the water on the par-3 17th - the only green he missed in the third round - but he recovered beautifully to drop only one shot, and then picked up a rare birdie on the 18th to get back into the picture.
Gregory Bourdy, who won the Wales Open this year, had a 67 and was two shots behind. Paul Casey missed a short par putt on the last hole for a 71, though he was only three shots behind, along with Scottish duo of Craig Lee and Scott Jamieson.
Simon Dyson never had a chance to make a move. He left the course Friday in a six-way tie for second, only four shots behind. When he arrived, however, he was shown a video of his play on the eighth green of Friday's round. After marking a short putt, Dyson inexplicably used the golf ball to tamp a spot on the green directly in his line. That's a violation of Rule 16-1a, which carries a two-shot penalty. Dyson was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.
It was a big blow for Dyson, who is No. 66 in the Race of Dubai. Only the top 60 advance to the World Tour Championship in Dubai to close out the year, and because he is not in the HSBC Champions next week, he will have only one tournament to try to crack the top 60.
ST. LOUIS (AP) The St. Louis Rams' weakness will be severely tested by the Seattle Seahawks' strength.
The Rams' run defense, ranked 30th in the NFL at 126 yards a game, will have its hands full against a Seattle rushing attack led by Marshawn Lynch that is second in the league.
"Marshawn, in my opinion, is the toughest guy to tackle in the NFL. He runs hard every play," St. Louis linebacker James Laurinaitis said. "I mean even if you put eight or nine in the box, he can take it. I have a lot of respect for Marshawn. It's a huge challenge for us."
Lynch, a three-time Pro Bowler, is gaining 4.2 yards per carry for an offense that is second in the league in rushing, averaging 154.4 yards per game. He has 578 yards and six touchdowns this season, and leads the NFL with 17 100-yard games since 2011.
"He's as advertised. He's a good as there is in the NFL," Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan said. "He fights for every extra yard. He's so talented. We'll have our hands full. It's going to be a challenge."
Overall, the Rams' defense ranks 22nd in total yards allowed at 373 per game and 24th in points allowed, giving up 26.3 per game.
Seattle (6-1) averages 368.6 yards a game - 10th in the NFL.
In his past three starts against St. Louis, Lynch has gained 115, 118 and 100 yards. He has caught eight passes in those games for 59 yards.
"He's an outstanding back. He plays good without the ball," St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher said. "He's a good blocker. I saw a game where there's a turnover and he comes and strips defensive lineman from behind, knocks the ball out, those kinds of things. He's just an outstanding running back."
The Rams' problems don't end with Lynch. Quarterback Russell Wilson also is a threat to run. The mobile, second-year quarterback has rushed for 323 yards, averaging 5.6 yards per attempt.
"We are aware of what Wilson can do, but we don't want to be robotic out there on our assignments," defensive end Robert Quinn said. "We need to be disciplined. Lynch is just another challenge for us, too. You kind of smile with it. You know what you're getting and we can't let it discourage us. We're not afraid to take on anyone, of course."
The Rams' run defense showed improvement last week against Carolina. The Panthers had 38 running plays and averaged 2.7 yards a play.
Defensive coordinator Tim Walton said that showed the defense can do well against the run.
"We made some strides," Walton said. "We have to continue to get better each week."
NOTES: QB Sam Bradford (knee) was on the sideline Friday watching practice. ... With Monday's game going head-to-head with Game 5 of the World Series, Fisher said the fans won't miss out. "We'll broadcast what's going on in the stadium. Whoever's there, we're going to keep them updated. We'll keep them posted on the score. We expect a great crowd."
AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The Golden State Warriors are banking on Andrew Bogut's future in the Bay Area.
The Warriors and the often-injured center agreed to a contract extension Friday, a day after the team finished the preseason. A person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press it was for three years and $36 million and could be worth up to about $42 million with incentives.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms had not been publicly disclosed. Bogut's contract was set to expire after this season.
"We put a lot of money into believing he's going to be healthy," general manager Bob Myers said. "In this business, you're taking risks on players, whether they stay healthy or not. We used all our analysis, all the things we knew, all the information that was at hand with us to make the decision we did.
"Size is a scarcity in the NBA, and we felt like this was somebody we needed to have going forward to be a successful NBA basketball team. He's a big piece of our recent and past success and hopefully future success. So for us, we were willing to take that risk, and we think it's a good one."
The Warriors acquired Bogut in a trade-deadline deal in March 2012 that sent guard Monta Ellis to Milwaukee. Bogut did not play for Golden State that season while recovering from a fractured left ankle.
The 7-footer from Australia missed 50 of 82 games last season, mostly because of soreness in his surgically repaired ankle. He also battled back and knee injuries while averaging a career-low 5.8 points to go with 7.7 rebounds, but he was at his best in the playoffs, making a major difference on defense to help the Warriors get to the second round.
Myers, Bogut and Bogut's agent, David Bauman, spoke generally in May about an extension and agreed to revisit talks more seriously this October. Bogut said he gave the Warriors a Friday deadline to get a deal done because he didn't want negotiations to drag into the regular season, which begins Wednesday night at home against the Los Angeles Lakers.
"I was never a greedy guy that was going to come and say, `Pay me X or I'm walking or pay me X or I'm going to free agency,"' Bogut said. "I think I'm realistic about the injuries that I've had and the tough times that I've had with the organization and the pressure that they've faced with fans for making the trade. It was one of those things where we came to common ground and I was happy. I could've easily said, `I'll wait till the offseason and easily make more money in the long run' and have someone just chasing you. But I'm happy with my deal right now."
When Bogut has played, he has played well. He has career averages of 12.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.58 blocks in 440 regular-season games over eight seasons.
Staying healthy enough to play, though, has been a constant battle since Milwaukee made him the No. 1 overall pick out of Utah in the 2005 draft.
Bogut took anti-inflammatory injections just to stay on the court in the playoffs last season, but he showed up in the biggest moments despite his limitations.
He had 21 rebounds, 14 points, four blocks and three assists in the Game 6 clincher against Denver in the first round. He also fought through pain until the eventual Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs sent the Warriors home in six games in the second round.
Bogut missed the end of the 2009-10 season with Milwaukee when he dislocated his right elbow, sprained his right wrist and broke his right hand in a hard fall to the floor. He also missed significant time with an injured lower back in the 2008-09 season.
Bogut has repeatedly called the injuries "freak accidents," but the setbacks have taken a toll, physically and mentally. At one point while rehabbing his ankle most of last season, Bogut said he was in a "dark place" and even considered retirement.
Instead, Golden State's surprising playoffs - and his role in it - left him rejuvenated. He lost about 15 pounds this offseason, showing up in training camp in great shape.
"Just kind of surreal," Bogut said. "Just kind of thinking about coming to the NBA as a kid was a dream, it wasn't reality. To be extended now ... it's an unbelievable feeling."
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP
ST. LOUIS (AP) From the Green Monster to the Gateway Arch. From the Charles River to the mighty Mississippi. From clam chowder to toasted ravioli.
The World Series scene is shifting, and St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright couldn't be happier.
"We love Cardinal country," he said Friday.
For good reason, too. After Boston split the first two games at Fenway Park, now Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and the rest of the Red Sox will get to see what makes this place so special.
Especially in October.
"Well, we love playing here at Busch Stadium. Like I said, it's a sea of red," pitcher Joe Kelly said.
The free-spirited Kelly was set to start Game 3 on Saturday night against Jake Peavy.
"This is what I've lived for my whole life - my whole baseball career, I should say," Peavy said. "I'm as prepared as I'll ever be - physically, mentally."
Also warmed up: A team of eight Clydesdales, ready to pull a red beer wagon around the warning track before the first pitch. It's also a tradition for fans to gather early at the Musial statue - there are two honoring Stan the Man, actually.
Red Sox closer Koji Uehara took a moment to soak it all in. As he walked onto the field for a workout, the first-time visitor looked at the gleaming Arch hovering high beyond the center-field fence.
The Cardinals rely on a lot more than pomp when they play in their own park.
They led the NL in scoring while going 54-27 at Busch, and then let pitching take over in the postseason. St. Louis is 5-1 at home in the playoffs - in those five wins, opponents scored a total of five runs.
Boston has hit just .188 so far in the Series, with David Ortiz providing the biggest bop. He's homered in both games and is 4 for 6 overall with five RBIs.
With no designated hitter in the National League park, Ortiz will switch to first base. Manager John Farrell wouldn't say whether Ortiz would start there for every game in St. Louis, but it's a good guess regular first baseman Mike Napoli will be on the bench for a while.
Farrell also said lefty-swinging Daniel Nava would start in left field instead of Jonny Gomes, who is 0 for 7 so far.
"Obviously David's bat, at all costs, needs to be in the lineup," Peavy said. "David is a game-changer. He's as clutch as anybody I can remember playing with or against."
"It just seems like he has a flair for the dramatic. When the situation is the biggest, he's at his best," he said.
Ortiz hit a two-run homer off rookie sensation Michael Wacha in Game 2 that put Boston ahead 2-1 in the sixth inning, but St. Louis rallied in the seventh for a 4-2 win.
The Red Sox will spend this weekend at the stadium a few blocks from the Mississippi River.
"I believe our ballpark is very fair. I don't think there's one thing that would make our team any more effective in this park than any other," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "It's not like there's the oddities, like a Green Monster or deep corners and gaps."
"But you can't help but buy into the atmosphere, especially when you're at home and every single thing you do gets such a positive response," he said.
Kelly is glad to be home, all the way around.
"You get to sleep in your own bed. You get to do what you normally do on a regular basis," he said. "If you get coffee in the morning, you go to your coffee shop. It's just a comfort level to know that it's your home away from your offseason home."
For the Red Sox, this is their first visit to St. Louis since Ortiz hit a home run on June 8, 2005, in a win at the previous Busch Stadium. The new park opened the next year.
Kelly also had some friendly advice for Boston's first-time visitors. It involved a local favorite, a food that many are certain started in this city.
"Find some toasted raviolis, eat some. Those are good, especially in St. Louis," he said.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Houston Rockets guard James Harden left Friday night's preseason game with a right knee contusion and was not expected to return.
Harden, the team's leading scorer in the preseason with a 20.8 average, connected on a 3-pointer from the right wing and went down to the court in front of the Rockets bench when he was fouled by Quincy Pondexter.
Harden eventually got up, made the ensuing free throw and went straight to the locker room at the next stoppage of play.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Tim Lincecum wants nothing more than to return to his old dominant self in the very place where he has been at his best before.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner finalized his $35 million, two-year contract with the San Francisco Giants on Friday after passing a physical. Now, he is ready to get back to work and build toward a comeback season in 2014. He will begin his offseason workout routine in earnest with a training appointment Monday in the Seattle area.
"It gives you that freedom that I've done it with this group before. I feel like we can do it again, and personally I feel like I can succeed there again," Lincecum said. "As a group, I feel like we have the right tools to make another push. Those are the kind of things you look for when going after an organization. When I'm already plugged into one, I don't have to look too far to see what they've done and what I've been able to do with them."
Just as the Giants had hoped, they signed Lincecum before he went on the free-agent market.
Lincecum, who pitched a no-hitter on July 13 at San Diego, reached agreement on the new deal earlier in the week that keeps him with his only major league team through 2015. The contract pays $17 million for next year and $18 million in `15.
Lincecum's contract includes a full no-trade clause. In addition, he can earn an additional $250,000 each for 210 innings pitched and 220 innings.
He would earn $500,000 for another Cy Young, $250,000 for second place, $100,000 (third), $75,000 (fourth) and $50,000 (fifth).
If he wins the 2014 Cy Young award, the first-place bonus would increase to $1 million for the following year.
In addition, Lincecum would earn $250,000 for NL MVP with additional bonuses for second through fifth place. He would receive $100,000 for an All-Star selection and $50,000 for a Gold Glove.
Lincecum will get a hotel suite on the road. The contract also calls for him to purchase 25 tickets to each home game for underprivileged children in the Bay Area.
"This was targeted as a baseball signing," CEO Larry Baer said. "This was the right thing for the Giants to keep the rotation strong and keep the team's chances of winning strong. ... Timmy is a very popular guy but I don't want it to be misinterpreted that this was done because he's popular."
He just completed a $40.5 million, two-year contract that paid him $22 million this season.
Given the uncertainty in the rotation, keeping one of the club's most notable faces means a lot to manager Bruce Bochy.
The Giants, who won the World Series in 2010 and again last year, will not exercise left-hander Barry Zito's $18 million option for 2014, and Ryan Vogelsong might not return.
Lincecum said late in the season he is a creature of familiarity and hoped to stay put with San Francisco, which drafted him 10th overall out of Washington in 2006 and quickly promoted him to the majors in May 2007.
He pitched the Game 5 World Series clincher at Texas in 2010, when the Giants captured their first championship since moving West in 1958. Then in 2012, Lincecum moved to the bullpen for the playoffs and emerged as a reliable reliever as San Francisco won another title.
Lincecum - the Cy Young winner in 2008 and `09, when he won 18 and 15 games, respectively - went 10-14 with a 4.37 ERA and 193 strikeouts over 32 starts last year, his third straight season with a losing record.
Still, Lincecum's strides down the stretch to get back to top form were encouraging for the Giants' brass.
"He gave us really positive signs as to what he's capable of doing," assistant general manager Bobby Evans said. "He is an important part of our rotation and we are very pleased to have him back for at least two more years."
The right-hander joined Hall of Famers Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry, and Kirk Rueter as the only Giants in San Francisco history to win at least 10 games in six straight seasons.
"When your last couple years are a collective 4.50 (ERA), that's not the way you want to go out," Lincecum said. "That's not the guy I am."
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Lincecum earned the nicknames The Freak and Franchise for his quick rise to the majors and his quirky delivery. A four-time All-Star, he is 89-70 with a 3.46 ERA over seven major league seasons.
There was some thought he might test the open market and at least listen to any offers from his hometown Seattle Mariners.
"Up until this year I hadn't really thought about it. I've always kind of looked at myself as a Giant, even a couple years ago when there were contract talks and two years before that," he said. "Home is always going to be home to me. Maybe I'll look at that route later on in life as a professional place. Personally, I wasn't ready for that kind of jump."
General manager Brian Sabean has now checked off two important items from his to-do list looking forward to what he hopes is a comeback year for the club in 2014. In late September, the Giants signed right fielder Hunter Pence to a $90 million, five-year contract before the season ended. He played every game this year.
Zito, who recently took out a full-page newspaper ad thanking Giants fans, will be due a $7 million buyout as he departs following a $126 million, seven-year contract. The move will be made formal at the conclusion of the World Series.
Now, San Francisco has a rotation led by Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner.
"When you have staples in a rotation like this, mainstay guys who have come up through the organization, myself, Cain and Bummy, that's a pretty good collective group of guys to base your rotation off of," Lincecum said. "I know that I haven't had the greatest year, but I've got to go in with confidence knowing that I'm going to get back to where I need to be. That's pretty much my mindset right now."
LOS ANGELES (AP) Bill Sharman effortlessly straddled both sides of the Celtics-Lakers rivalry, winning championships and making friends from Boston to Los Angeles during a unique basketball career.
Even when he struggled to speak in his later years with a voice worn out from passionate coaching, Sharman remained a beloved mentor and a hoops innovator who saw great success from almost every perspective in more than a half-century in the NBA.
Sharman, the Hall of Famer who won multiple titles both as a player for the Celtics and a coach for the Lakers, died Friday at his home in Redondo Beach, the Lakers announced. He was 87.
Sharman played major roles on both sides of the rivalry as a smooth shooting guard, a disciplinarian coach and a successful executive from the Celtics dynasty's founding years to the Lakers' Showtime heyday and beyond. He is also credited with pioneering or promoting now-standard basketball concepts such as the shootaround, pregame scouting reports and extensive use of assistant coaches.
"Bill Sharman was, without a doubt, one of the greatest human beings I have ever met, and one of my all-time favorite individuals, both as a competitor and as a friend," said Jerry West, who played for Sharman and worked alongside him in the Lakers' front office. "He was the epitome of class and dignity and, I can assure you, we find few men of his character in this world."
Sharman won four NBA titles during an 11-season career as a shooting guard in Boston, teaming with Bob Cousy in one of the most potent backcourts in league history. He was widely considered one of the greatest outside shooters of his era, and he's still ranked as one of the NBA's best free-throw shooters.
Sharman then spent the past four decades with Los Angeles as a coach and executive. In his first season on the bench, he coached the 1971-72 Lakers to a championship with 69 victories - then an NBA record - and a 33-game winning streak, the longest in pro sports history.
"Be it on the court as a star player for the Boston Celtics, or on the sidelines as the guiding force behind the Lakers' first NBA championship in Los Angeles, Bill Sharman led an extraordinary basketball life," NBA Commissioner David Stern said. "More than that, however, Bill was a man of great character and integrity. His loss will be deeply felt. On behalf the NBA family, our thoughts and condolences go out to Bill's family."
Sharman was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1976 and a coach in 2004, joining only John Wooden and Lenny Wilkens with that double distinction. In 1996, he was selected as one of the NBA's 50 best players of its first 50 years.
"Bill Sharman was a great man, and I loved him dearly," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. "From the time I signed with the team as a free agent in 1981 when Bill was general manager, he's been a mentor, a work collaborator, and most importantly, a friend. He's meant a great deal to the success of the Lakers and to me personally, and he will be missed terribly."
William Walton Sharman was born May 25, 1926, in Abilene, Texas. He grew up in the Los Angeles area and in the San Joaquin Valley before becoming a star guard at Southern California, where they retired the jersey of the shooter known as "Bullseye Bill" in 2007.
Sharman also excelled in baseball, getting drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950. A year later, the minor leaguer was called up to the Dodgers in time to be in the dugout at the Polo Grounds when the Giants' Bobby Thomson hit his famed "Shot Heard `Round the World," the homer that beat Brooklyn for the 1951 NL pennant.
He played his first NBA season with the Washington Capitols in 1950-51, but Red Auerbach landed him for Boston after the Capitols folded. Sharman became an eight-time NBA All-Star with the Celtics, averaging 17.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in his 11-year career.
The outside shooting specialist excelled after the NBA introduced the shot clock in 1954, and the arrival of Bill Russell and Tom Heinsohn in 1956 propelled the Celtics to the franchise's first title - the first of four NBA crowns in the next five years for Sharman.
Sharman also played baseball during the NBA offseason for five straight years, but never made it as a major leaguer.
After Sharman retired from the Celtics in 1961, he briefly played and coached in the defunct American Basketball League. When he returned to coach the NBA's San Francisco Warriors in 1966, he began warming up his players for the evening's game with a morning shootaround, now standard procedure for most basketball teams.
Sharman moved to the ABA in 1968, coaching the Stars franchise in Los Angeles and in Utah, where he won the 1971 ABA championship. Sharman then took over the Lakers, who had reached seven NBA finals without winning a title since moving from Minneapolis to the West Coast.
With Hall of Fame talents Wilt Chamberlain, West and Gail Goodrich in the lineup, the Lakers immediately clicked under Sharman. They went two months without losing a game during his debut season, setting a record with their 33-game winning streak before steamrolling through the playoffs to a championship, the first of 11 for the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Sharman was tough, fining and disciplining players to keep their attention. He also developed a permanent rasp in his voice, a problem he blamed on years of yelling from the sideline.
"Bill was the best coach I have ever had, and I will miss him greatly," said Pat Riley, a backup on that team who became the Lakers' coach during Sharman's tenure as their general manager.
Sharman was named the NBA's coach of the year in 1972. Although he kept the Lakers competitive, the retirements of Chamberlain and West precipitated a rebuilding process in 1975 with the arrival of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Sharman retired from coaching in 1976 to become Los Angeles' general manager, presiding over owner Jerry Buss' front office as a GM and team president through the Showtime era. In 1979, Sharman won the coin flip - calling tails - that allowed the Lakers to draft Magic Johnson, who credited Sharman for improving his free throw shooting as a young player.
"Dr Buss always wanted people to know Bill Sharman was the architect of the Laker(s) of the 80's," longtime Lakers coach Phil Jackson tweeted. "He will be missed greatly by all who knew him."
He had been a special consultant for the Lakers for the past 23 years. He stayed active with the Lakers throughout his final years, regularly showing up at team functions to the delight of fans and friends. Sharman had a stroke about one week before his death, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"His knowledge and passion for the game were unsurpassed, and the Lakers and our fans were beneficiaries of that," Lakers President Jeanie Buss said. "Despite his greatness as a player, coach and executive, Bill was one of the sweetest, nicest and most humble people I've ever known. He was truly one of a kind."
He is survived by his wife, Joyce; their daughters, Nancy and Janice; and sons Tom and Jerry from a previous marriage. Funeral arrangements are pending.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Disgruntled fans showed up at Raymond James Stadium, some carrying placards or wearing brown paper bags over their heads calling for the firing of Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano.
It didn't happen Friday, a day after a lopsided nationally televised loss to the NFC South rival Carolina Panthers dropped the winless Buccaneers to 0-7 for the sixth time in franchise history.
The Bucs have never gone on to win more than three games after losing the first seven to begin a season.
Schiano said after Thursday night's 31-13 loss that he's focused solely on trying to turn his struggling team around - not his job.
On Friday, he fended questions about whether he still has the respect and support of his players. The Bucs have lost 12 of 13 games dating to last season and are 7-16 overall since Schiano left Rutgers in January 2012 to take over a team that dropped the final 10 games of 2011.
"Have I lost the locker room? No. Are they listening? Yes. Are we getting everything we need out of them? Well, obviously not because we're 0-7," Schiano said. "
"Ultimately we have good guys in that locker room ... 61 guys that I believe in, and I really strongly feel they believe in me. Does belief get tested when you have an 0-7 record? Absolutely. ... But there's a lot of football left. We've got nine games remaining. We'll take each one, one at a time."
Fans chanted "Schiano must go'!' in the closing minutes of the latest loss. There has been little indication of where the Glazer family, which owns the team but rarely grants interviews, stands on the embattled coach's future.
It's been a tumultuous season ranging from the messy benching and subsequent release of starting quarterback Josh Freeman to an outbreak of MRSA infections in the locker room to a lack of success on the field.
"I visit with our owners all the time. There's open lines of communication," Schiano said. "We're all trying to just get better and do the things that are going to make the organization better."
Safety Dashon Goldson, one of the team's two big offseason acquisitions, sat out Thursday night's game with a knee injury. He said Schiano has not lost the locker room.
"There's no complaining, there's no issues. You come in here, it's a good work environment," Goldson said.
"He's taken a lot of scrutiny off the field. These are tough times, and we understand that," Goldson, an All-Pro last season in San Francisco, said. "But he has a job to do, and we do as players, so we're just doing what we can to prepare every week and try to win a football game and leave the outside stuff to the outsiders."
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, a team captain, agreed.
"As long as he's our coach, we're going to have respect for him and we're going to play as hard as can for him," McCoy said. "It's as simple as that."
Turning it around won't be easy, especially with a rookie at quarterback.
Third-round draft pick Mike Glennon threw for 275 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions against the Panthers, but threw the ball 51 times and attempting 43, 43 and 44 passes in his first three starts.
Not a winning formula for a first-year quarterback.
"I think we've made some right decisions that made us better. We've got to make more. I think we have to look at exactly what Mike is capable (of), because Mike can do a lot of things. (We need to) make sure we're playing to his strengths in every way because that's two games in a row now without an interception," Schiano said.
"At the end of the game we threw the ball on every down. Take that out and just look at the plays before that," the coach added. "He's efficient, he's doing what we ask him to do. When you know you're going to get that, now you're going to build around that."
Schiano said he "totally" understands the frustration of fans upset about the team's record. He's not concerned, though, that calls for his dismissal will become a distraction for team moving forward.
"Football players at this level are very intelligent. They understand the business," Schiano said.
"I think we all realize it's a performance-based business," he added. "Players and coaches, we're paid to win. That's what it's about. ... We've got to get our share."
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
MIAMI (AP) Former Miami Heat forward Mike Miller said Friday he did not want details of a failed investment with someone accused of operating a multimillion-dollar real-estate fraud released publicly.
Miller said his attorney, Andrew Fine, was not authorized to tell The Miami Herald for an article posted online late Thursday night that he was considering a lawsuit. Miller, who now plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, told The Associated Press on Friday he's not even sure how much money he lost.
"I regret the unauthorized information shared disclosing a potential lawsuit and my private business dealings in the recent news reports," Miller wrote in a text message to the AP. "The Heat has always supported me and my family and we are grateful for our relationship with the team and its owners. They have given me and my family more than we could have ever asked for and for that I am so thankful!!"
Miller said he has not personally discussed the failed investment with anyone from the franchise. He also reached out to at least two Heat officials Friday to apologize for any misunderstanding.
In an unrelated twist, the Heat have invited Miller and Jarvis Varnado - both members of last season's team - back for Tuesday's championship ring ceremony. Miller was designated as Miami's amnesty player last summer and signed as a free agent with the Grizzlies. Varnado was waived by the Heat earlier this week.
A Heat employee allegedly introduced Miller to Haider Zafar, a Pakistani native and U.S. legal resident who is awaiting trial on wire fraud and other charges. Fine testified at Zafar's bond hearing in August that Miller and other Heat players, along with other Florida residents, invested $8 million with Zafar.
A person with knowledge of the case told AP that the other players are forward Rashard Lewis and guard James Jones, speaking on condition of anonymity because the case remains active.
Fine did not immediately return an email. The Heat did not have immediate comment Friday.
Zafar's 135-count indictment - which does not mention the basketball players - describes a scheme he allegedly used to swindle a Washington businessman of $10 million between 2008 and 2010. Zafar pleaded not guilty this summer to all charges.
AP Legal Affairs Writer Curt Anderson contributed to this report.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Oneida Indian officials who oppose the Redskins nickname as a slur will meet with NFL officials next week in New York City, a tribe spokesman said Friday.
The meeting agreed to by NFL officials earlier this month is scheduled for Wednesday in New York City, Oneida Indian Nation spokesman Brett Stagnitti told The Associated Press.
The upstate New York tribe and its leader Ray Halbritter became prominent critics of the team's name after funding a "Change the Mascot" radio ad campaign and a symposium in Washington on the harmful effects of the nickname.
Halbritter, whose tribe runs a large casino resort in Verona in central New York, says the name is degrading and has devastating effects, especially on younger Indians.
The tribe began pushing for a name change recently as the Washington Redskins faced fresh waves of criticism over their nickname. Even President Barack Obama weighed in, saying recently he would "think about changing" the name if he owned the team.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said senior league executives will attend next week's meeting, but he didn't know if Commissioner Roger Goodell will be among them.
Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has said he will never change the team's name and Goodell has said that it is ultimately Snyder's call.
In a letter to season-ticket holders this month, Snyder said he respected the feelings of those offended by the name, but wrote "I hope such individuals also try to respect what the name means, not only for all of us in the extended Washington Redskins family, but among Native Americans too."
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Panthers have a red hot quarterback, a stifling defense and - finally - a winning record following a three-game win streak.
Momentum is on their side.
And that's a good thing for the Panthers (4-3), who are entering a tough stretch of November games against division rival Atlanta, San Francisco, New England and Miami.
Critics will contend the Panthers haven't beaten anyone.
Carolina's four wins have come against teams with a combined 5-22 record.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said by no means has his team arrived but he's quick to add that "It doesn't matter what others think because the truth of the matter is how we feel about ourselves - and we feel pretty good about who we are."
The Panthers have won four of their last five after starting 0-2.
Quarterback Cam Newton is leading the charge back to what Rivera calls "being relevant," completing 77 percent of his passes over the last three games for 647 yards with six touchdown passes. He's run for two other TDs and has not turned the ball over during that stretch.
The Panthers are 4-3 - back above .500 for the first time since the 2008 season.
"We just have to continue to keep meshing as a team, keep building off and keep getting momentum in these upcoming weeks because we are about to hit the meat of our schedule," Newton said after Carolina's dominating 31-13 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday night. "We are going to need every single ounce of energy that we will have."
Players were not made available to the media on Friday.
Rivera said he's treating this weekend as a pseudo bye week, giving the players three days off before beginning preparations for the Falcons on Monday.
Newton's improved play over the last three weeks has overshadowed the play of the Carolina's defense, which came into the Tampa Bay allowing the second-fewest points and third fewest yards per game in the NFL.
The Panthers limited the Bucs to 297 yards in their 31-13 win Thursday night.
"We feel like we are headed toward (being) a serious playoff defense," said defensive end Greg Hardy, who had one of three sacks on Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. "I feel like we're playing up to our potential, but there is so much potential in the room. We're not even close."
Newton appears to be reaching his potential the past three weeks after starting his career with a 14-22 record.
The third-year quarterback has been quick to deflect attention to his teammates, saying his improved play is a reflection of everyone else stepping up around him.
Newton said it helps that the Panthers have been running the ball with consistency.
Carolina has run for at least 95 yards in every game this season.
Starting running back DeAngelo Williams injured his quadriceps against the Bucs and could need some time to heal. But the good news for the Panthers is they'll get another weapon back on offense next week. Jonathan Stewart, another former first-round draft pick, could be activated to the 53-man roster next week after spending the first eight weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform list recovering from ankle surgery.
Carolina's defense has only allowed three points in the first quarter all season and as a result the Panthers have led at halftime in all seven games this season.
It's just now that they're figuring out how to put teams away in the second half.
"We have a lot of relentless guys, and we just continue to keep pushing," Newton said Thursday night. "Coach has always harped on finishing. In multiple games that I have played in here, we had a lack thereof of finishing."
NOTES: Rivera said defensive end Charles Johnson had an MRI on his groin that was negative. He'll be reevaluated on Monday. Johnson has six sacks on the season.
AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org
Follow Steve Reed on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SteveReedAP
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) Christian Ponder will start at quarterback for Minnesota against Green Bay on Sunday night, while Josh Freeman will be inactive after being cleared to practice.
Next week's as-the-quarterback-carousel-turns episode has not been written yet, but the Vikings have their guy for the Packers game. Coach Leslie Frazier confirmed after practice on Friday that Ponder will start against the Vikings' bitter rival.
Freeman reported concussion-like symptoms the day after his rough performance Monday night in a loss to the New York Giants.
He passed the NFL's required tests and went through part of the workout with the Vikings on Friday, but this was too late in the week for him to catch up with the game plan and get ready to play. Frazier said Freeman will be inactive on Sunday night, with Matt Cassel backing up Ponder.
Frazier said the Vikings expect Freeman to fully participate in practice next week, which will create another mini-drama about who will take the next turn through this revolving door, particularly if Ponder plays well.
For now, the focus is on the Packers.
"I've got to any way I can help Christian out there. He had an excellent week of practice. He's dropping dimes left and right. I know everybody is excited about moving forward," Freeman said.
Freeman said his film review of the game didn't pin down the exact hit that caused the concussion. He said he didn't start feeling bad until after the flight home. This was his first concussion in the NFL.
"I've really appreciated how the coaches have handled it," Freeman said. "It's been kind of, `OK, all right, take your time, feel it out.' It hasn't been, `Hurry up and get back.' They've treated it and handled this situation very professionally in allowing me to get back at my own pace, which is, with any head injuries a necessary step."
Conspiracy theorists were curious about the timing of the injury, given how poorly Freeman played. But he denied any exaggeration or fabrication of his condition.
"All I can do is live in my truth," Freeman said.
Frazier said Freeman's inaccuracy was mostly due to mechanical issues, not for a lack of preparedness.
"There were obviously some shots, looking back, I could hit in my sleep, but in the game they were maybe a little high. That made it hard on my guys," Freeman said. "It's definitely something that calls for improvement and definitely something that we're working on day to day."
After being benched for Cassel earlier this month, Ponder has the job again. The best game of his NFL career came against the Packers last year, a victory by the Vikings to finish the regular season and reach the playoffs. He also had a decent debut in 2011, at home against the Packers.
Maintaining a positive attitude through the disappointment of losing the job after his broken rib was fully healed paid off for Ponder.
"I wasn't sure if things they were telling me were true or not," Ponder said this week. "But I stayed focused. Like I said in previous weeks, I can control what I can control, and that was getting better on the field and getting healthy. I'm healthy now. And, again, I'm going to take full advantage of this opportunity."
Tight end/fullback Rhett Ellison, who has been an important blocker in the running game, missed practice again on Friday because of an ankle injury and won't play on Sunday night. Frazier said his absence is "a pretty big loss."
AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org
Dave Campbell on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DaveCampbellAP
BOSTON -- Craig Breslow couldn't find the plate.
Then he couldn't find third base.
The Red Sox reliever gave up a walk to load the bases and then committed one of two errors during a two-run sacrifice fly as Boston squandered David Ortiz's go-ahead homer and lost 4-2 to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night in Game 2 of the World Series.
"On this stage you don't get too many mistakes back," said Breslow, who retrieved a ball that got away from catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia but threw it over third base and into the stands. "It just kind of sailed on me. I looked up and I saw I definitely had a play there and didn't make a good throw. Not a throw that I make too much, but one that I needed to make there."
One night after the Cardinals made three errors -- and a bunch of other mistakes -- in an 8-1 loss to open the Series, it was the Red Sox who threw away Game 2. Breslow and Saltalamacchia each made an error on Matt Carpenter's seventh-inning fly ball that turned a one-run deficit into a 3-2 St. Louis lead.
"It was a couple of misplays. It happens," said Ortiz, who homered for the second straight night but lost for the first time in 10 World Series games. "That's part of the game, man. Nobody can dictate that you're going to win four straight games every time you go out there for the World Series. This is baseball, and you're playing the best team in the National League."
Game 3 is Saturday night at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
"Things are going to happen. This team's really good at not dwelling on it, and moving past it," Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew said. "It's unfortunate, but it's the same thing (as) yesterday. We capitalized on it, and they capitalized on it tonight."
Ortiz's two-run homer off Michael Wacha gave the Red Sox the lead in the bottom of the sixth, but John Lackey walked David Freese with one out in the seventh and then Jon Jay singled to chase the Red Sox starter. In came Breslow, who had not yet allowed a run in seven postseason appearances this year.
With David Descalso up, Jay and pinch-runner Pete Kozma worked a double steal without drawing a throw because Saltalamacchia had trouble getting the ball out of his glove. After Descalso walked on a full-count pitch to load the bases, Carpenter hit a medium-depth fly ball that Jonny Gomes moved over to field.
The throw home was up the first-base line, and Saltalamacchia couldn't handle it. That allowed Kozma, who had two errors in Game 1, to score, and Jay to take third.
Breslow was backing up the play and took an extra step or two before sailing his throw to third over Drew's head; it bounced into the stands to allow another run to score and give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead. Descalso was left at third, and he scored on Carlos Beltran's single to make it 4-2.
"I'm sure Craig would like to have that ball back and hold it with a chance to shut down the inning right there," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Uncharacteristic of the way I think we've taken care of the baseball this year. And it contributed to the three runs."
The meltdown cost Lackey the chance for a win and his first World Series victory since he pitched the clincher of the Angels' 2002 win against the San Francisco Giants as a rookie. He would be in line to start Game 6, if necessary.
"Brez has been awesome for us this year," said Lackey, who left with a 2-1 lead but took the loss. "I can't wait to see him get back out there, because he's been so good for us and you can't go wrong with putting that guy on the mound."
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Cam Newton threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score Thursday night to lead the surging Carolina Panthers to a 31-13 victory over the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Panthers (4-3) won for the fourth time in five games following an 0-2 start. They've won three straight, with Newton throwing for 667 yards, six TDs and no interceptions.
The Bucs (0-7), one of two NFL teams yet to win, have dropped the first seven games in a season for the seventh time in franchise history. They've lost 12 of 13 dating to last year, and some fans showed up at Raymond James Stadium carrying signs and wearing paper bags over their heads urging that second-year coach Greg Schiano be fired.
BOSTON (AP) Former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera made a tantalizing - but not at all serious - offer to baseball Commissioner Bud Selig on Thursday: another farewell tour, this time in the NL.
"Boss, listen to this, OK?" Rivera said on Thursday night before Game 2 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals. "Since I did the whole American League and all the time with the family traveling with me, so I decided I'm going to give another shot in the National League. So here it is, guys."
Having praised Rivera effusively at the ceremony to present him with the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award, Selig said he would have no problem if Rivera came back for a 20th season.
"We'll make sure that happens," Selig said. "That you can be sure of."
With his family standing by, Rivera was honored on the field before the game. The Boston fans gave him a cheer, and Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz ran out to the mound to give him a hug.
Rivera finished his career with 652 saves - the most in major league history - including 44 this season, when he was 43 years old. Selig praised Rivera less for his statistical achievements than for the way he carried himself.
"All records we have said are made to be broken, but this is one that I'm very confident will stand the test of time," Selig said. "He became the face of baseball for this generation. And he did it in a way with so much class and so much dignity and so much honor that it couldn't help but make me as the commissioner of baseball proud to think that one of our great stars of this generation represented the game so beautifully."
Rivera said he hasn't really felt the change of retirement yet because it's just the offseason. That will come in February, when he doesn't report to spring training.
"You don't talk now about retirement anymore, you're talking about temptation," he said. "So I'm going to go as far as I can go, to where people don't play baseball."
And there are no second thoughts.
"I don't think it's hard when you make up your mind," Rivera said. "I give everything that I have in the tank. So I have nothing left. So if you see me like this, and you think I can play, I will tell you that I can't play no more, because I have nothing left."
BATTING THIRD: Dustin Pedroia spent most of his career hitting second in the Boston Red Sox lineup. Until this year.
The diminutive second baseman batted third 147 times this season and hasn't had to make much of an adjustment with sluggers David Ortiz and Mike Napoli hitting behind him.
"It hasn't changed my offensive approach," Pedroia said before Game 2 of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. "I still try to do the same things. Sometimes on the bases with David hitting behind me, if they're not shifting him as much and he can hit with that hole, I won't run as much."
And he certainly doesn't hit with the power of a traditional No. 3 hitter.
The 5-foot-8, 165-pound Pedroia hit nine homers this year and had a total of 45 the past three years.
"I'm a run scorer, get on base and try to make something happen," Pedroia said, "hit the ball in the gaps, make the big hits, move runners, do everything. I don't look at it like I'm Miguel Cabrera and hit 40 home runs or things like that. I just try to play the game and do all I can."
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Miguel Cabrera hit 44 homers this season and last season with the Detroit Tigers.
CARDINALS CHANGEUP: St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny made two changes in his starting lineup for Game 2 of the World Series.
Jon Jay started in place of Shane Robinson in center field.
And Daniel Descalso started for Pete Kozma at shortstop. Kozma made errors in each of the first two innings, helping the Red Sox to five runs in their 8-1 win over the Cardinals.
STICKY SITUATION: Pedro Martinez fired a high, hard one at the Cardinals.
The former Red Sox star said that St. Louis didn't lose Game 1 of the World Series because Boston ace Jon Lester had rosin on his glove.
"It's not about what he had in his glove," Martinez said. "It's about how bad St. Louis came out to play. They did not execute. They did not do anything right, and Lester had everything going on for him. That's all you had to look at. St. Louis was flat. Lester had his good stuff and he beat them. That's it. Clean and simple. That's it."
Martinez spoke before Game 2 at a news conference with two teammates from the 2004 Red Sox championship team, pitcher Derek Lowe and outfielder Trot Nixon.
After Boston's 8-1 win on Wednesday night, Cardinals minor league pitcher Tyler Melling posted a screen shot on Twitter showing a green substance on Lester's glove.
Lester and Red Sox manager John Farrell said Thursday that the substance was only rosin, which is legal. They both said Lester sweats a lot and uses the rosin to get a better grip on the ball.
Cardinals outfielder Shane Robinson went 1 for 3 against Lester and said Thursday he didn't see "anything out of the norm" while watching video.
"We just didn't put together any kind of streak of hits in a row to get any runs off of him," he said.
GOOD OMENS: The Boston Red Sox win in Game 1 bodes well for their chances in the World Series.
The winner of the opener has won 62 percent of the Series. That's been even more pronounced in recent years with nine of the last 10 Game 1 winners going on to take the title. The Red Sox won two of them, sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004 and the Colorado Rockies in 2007.
There's something else in favor of Boston, which has home-field advantage. Teams that were scheduled to host four of a possible seven games have won 22 of the last 27 World Series.
ST. LOUIS (AP) Brett Favre dismissed the possibility of returning to the NFL with St. Louis, and Rams coach Jeff Fisher declined to address reports he tried to lure the quarterback out of retirement to replace the injured Sam Bradford.
Favre told Washington sports station WSPZ-AM he doesn't feel physically able to compete and expressed fear that he has been affected by concussions.
"It's flattering, but you know there's no way I'm going to do that," Favre said.
Fisher changed the subject after practice, then said "Nice try" when asked whether the 44-year-old Favre could be ready to play. Bradford is out for the season with a knee injury.
"I don't remember my daughter playing soccer, playing youth soccer, one summer," Favre told WSPZ. "I don't remember that. I got a pretty good memory, and I have a tendency like we all do to say, `Where are my glasses?' and they're on your head. This was pretty shocking to me that I couldn't remember my daughter playing youth soccer, just one summer, I think. I remember her playing basketball, I remember her playing volleyball, so I kind of think maybe she only played a game or two. I think she played eight. So that's a little bit scary to me. For the first time in 44 years, that put a little fear in me. ...
"I think after 20 years, God only knows the toll."
Rams defensive end Robert Quinn didn't think there was anything to the reports.
"Brett Favre is staying retired," Quinn said. "Brett hasn't played since 2010 and he's comfortable down there in Mississippi on a boat or something. Have fun with it, Brett."
Kellen Clemens, the backup the past two seasons, will make his 13th career start Monday night against the Seattle Seahawks. The Rams also signed Brady Quinn and Austin Davis.
Fisher said he wouldn't discuss players contacted after Bradford tore his left ACL on Sunday at Carolina, although he confirmed Tyler Thigpen also worked out.
"I don't feel any need to disclose information after the process," Fisher said. "That's how we are. I'll be happy to talk about Thigpen, and the two that we signed."
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
RENTON, Wash. (AP) There is still no definitive date for when wide receiver Percy Harvin will make his Seattle Seahawks debut.
And just as much of an unknown is what Harvin's role will be when he's finally given the OK to get back in a game for the first time in a calendar year.
The analysis of how Harvin would fit with the Seahawks first started when he was acquired in a trade with Minnesota in March, then was put on hold when Harvin underwent hip surgery to repair an injured labrum in early August.
It's all restarted this week as Harvin returned to practice for the Seahawks, ahead of the initial timeline that was presented for his recovery. Coach Pete Carroll reiterated Thursday that Harvin's return remains a day-to-day evaluation and made no promises about whether his debut would come on Monday night at St. Louis or is still a couple of weeks away.
Harvin was not listed on the Seahawks injury report Thursday since he is not on the active roster.
"It's a day-to-day, almost a drill-to-drill kind of situation to see if we're managing him properly, to bring him back. It would be great to see him play this weekend, but that's not part of what we're counting," Carroll said Thursday.
When he does return, Harvin will join an offense that will always be based around the run first and spreads the ball to its various pass catchers. Headed into Monday's game - which will mark the midway point of the season for Seattle - no receiver has more than Golden Tate's 27 catches and six players have at least 10 receptions. The Seahawks' leader in touchdown catches is Zach Miller, with three, while Jermaine Kearse is the only other player with more than one TD catch with two of his eight receptions going for touchdowns.
How will Harvin fit in? He thinks it'll be very similar to his first couple of seasons with Minnesota, when he was working under current Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
"It should be a lot similar especially dating back to my first two years when coach Bevell was my offensive coordinator with the Vikings," Harvin said. "I expect it to be a lot similar. I don't expect pretty much anything to change."
Sidney Rice was Harvin's teammate during those two seasons with the Vikings, before signing with the Seahawks before the 2011 season. The best season of Rice's career was 2009, when he caught 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns and often found himself with single coverage because Harvin was on the field.
"Put a package in and let him make plays; that was his role," Rice said. "He mostly played in the slot but he did play on the outside quite a bit depending on what packages we had in for him. I'm sure eventually once he gets healthy we'll start seeing the all-around Percy Harvin, lining up on the outside, on the inside, running back, who knows what's going to come of that."
While Harvin is known for his blazing speed, for much of his career it hasn't been used to try to beat defenses deep downfield. Harvin has caught 280 passes in his career and 210 of those receptions have come either behind the line of scrimmage or within the first 10 yards of the snap, according to STATS Inc. What's made Harvin so successful is his ability to turn those short catches into big plays.
For his career, Harvin is averaging nearly 7 yards after catch, meaning the many quick screens that were thrown his way with the Vikings were turned into meaningful gains. Last season, before being injured against Seattle in Week 9, Harvin was averaging 8.9 yards after catch. That was the best in the NFL for any wide receiver with more than 10 receptions.
"He's a gifted athlete," Bevell said. "He's got great quickness, he can make guys miss. He's got great toughness. He runs like Marshawn (Lynch) once he has the ball. He can run through people, he can run around people. He can make people miss. All those things together help him make those big plays."
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
BOSTON (AP) Jon Lester says there was nothing but rosin - which is perfectly legal - on his glove when he beat the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the World Series.
A Cardinals minor leaguer posted a screen shot on Twitter showing a green substance on Lester's glove. Tyler Melling, a 25-year-old pitcher in the Florida State League, wrote: "Jon Lester using a little Vaseline inside the glove tonight?"
The Boston Red Sox left-hander said before Game 2 on Thursday night that "I can honestly tell you that all I use is rosin. So, it's obviously frustrating that after a night like last night, we should be having fun and running around with some energy today and I've got to stand here and answer questions about it."
Lester allowed five hits in 7 2-3 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and a walk in the Red Sox's 8-1 victory.
Boston manager John Farrell also said Lester uses only rosin, which is provided on the pitcher's mound, to get a better grip.
"If you know Jon Lester, he sweats like a pig and he needs rosin," Farrell said before Game 2. "I don't see this as anything at all."
Major League Baseball said in a statement Thursday that "we cannot draw any conclusions from this video. There were no complaints from the Cardinals and the umpires never detected anything indicating a foreign substance throughout the game."
Section 8.02 of the Official Baseball Rules says a pitcher "shall not apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball" and says the penalty for a violation is ejection and an automatic suspension.
"MLB has obviously evaluated it and issued a statement," Farrell said. "We consider it closed."
Melling's tweet was later deleted.
"Obviously, when I get a text at 2 o'clock in the morning, it's not fun," a composed Lester said. "I understand. I saw the picture. It looks bad."
He also said he sweats a lot and rosin helps control that.
"I throw rosin in my glove. That's it," Lester said. "I warm up with one hat in the bullpen and then have to change hats when I come in (to the dugout). I've had plenty of games where I've got sweat dripping off my brim. I've put rosin on my hat before to try to stop it. You do a lot of different things to just try to try to contain it.
"Even on a cold night like last night, I'm still sweating, so you've got to do certain things to try to keep a grip on the ball and not let it slip, and rosin is one of those things that seems to help me."
Asked if he's sure that rosin was the only substance in Lester's glove, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said, "this was not instigated by us. And the way that we approach this is we just play the game. We don't deny that some things have been acknowledged. And if that's what he claims, then that's what it is. That's all there is to it. And right now it's pretty much a dead issue."
Lester said the issue wouldn't affect him in the future.
"I played with Jon basically my whole professional career," Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. "He kind of sweats a lot, man. I know he loads up with rosin all over the place. I don't even like going out there and telling him `good job,' and patting him on the back because you get all wet and stuff."
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Coaches rave about the poise of Jameis Winston, Florida State's sensational redshirt quarterback.
What surprisingly often gets overlooked are the polished fundamentals the 19-year-old exhibits.
"He takes pride in those things because he understands ... you've got to get the ball to people and be consistent, so you have to have great fundamentals," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. "What helps him is, as he continues to have knowledge of our offense and grows, it allows that footwork and those fundamentals to come even quicker, which makes him more consistent."
Winston is on pace to set a school record with his accuracy.
His 71.3 completion percentage is seventh-best in FBS and that's a product of a smooth delivery that starts at the base of his feet and ends with the follow-through. Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward holds the single-season school record with a 69.5 percentage in 1993.
Winston said he has a long way to go, particularly when it comes to dropping back in the pocket and his overall pocket presence. He's confident that will come with time and with "coach Fisher yelling at me some more."
The QB completed 22 of 34 passes for 444 yards against Clemson last weekend but it appeared his mechanics broke down on just five of those misses. His yards passing against the Tigers were the most by a Seminole QB since Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke threw for 521 in 2000.
Winston's delivery is what made possible for him to accurately hit 6-foot-5 Kevin Benjamin with a 22-yard, back-shoulder touchdown pass against Clemson.
Winston also accurately throws on the run by routinely squaring his shoulders and hips instead of throwing off-balance. That was the case on a 13-yard, third-down conversion against the Tigers, when Winston stepped up in the pocket, scrambled left and connected with Rashard Greene. His footwork base has also repeatedly had Winston in position to get the ball to receivers on screens and short outs so they can catch the ball without breaking stride.
"Hand placement, foot placement, hip placement, eye placement, shoulder placement," Fisher said. "He works on all those fundamentals every week. We put in a lot of work.
"He's done a really nice job with his hands ... where his hands are held on the release point to be more consistent. But he can adjust his hands, which all the great ones can. He's working his feet a lot ... but he's working his hips and getting more in line with his throws and being more aware of those things and not relying on his arm as much."
Mark Stoops was irritated at times with Winston last year. The Kentucky coach was the Florida State defensive coordinator while Winston led the scout team in practice. Stoops expected Winston to be successful, just not so quickly.
"He just had that uncanny ability to drop the ball in on you all over the place. It was so aggravating," Stoops said. "Just making plays and dropping the ball in there in some tough spots. He just had the ability to make plays."
Winston manages to get himself in good throwing position more often than not.
He squares himself on the move and doesn't throw across his body. Winston widens his base when unable to step into a throw to prevent throwing off his back foot. He's strong with the ball in the pocket as defenders slap at his arms. Gil Brandt, NFL Media senior analyst, said Winston has the advantage of working with Fisher, who developed Christian Ponder, EJ Manuel and JaMarcus Russell into first-round NFL selections, tight ends Tim Brewster and quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders.
"He doesn't have to over-accentuate throwing the ball," said Duke coach David Cutcliffe, who mentored Peyton and Eli Manning. "What I mean by that is his body is pretty quiet, allows him to be really be accurate. Looks to me, like for as young as he is, he's very accurate."
Dabo Swinney found out the hard way. Fifty-one points was the most points Clemson has ever allowed at home.
N.C. State (3-3, 0-3) plays at Florida State on Saturday.
"Oh, he's as good as anybody we've seen, that's for sure," Swinney said. "I mean, he's very deserving to be one of the Heisman guys. Heck, and he may win it.
"But the thing that I'm most impressed with him is he just doesn't make any mistakes, and he doesn't flinch. He's a very, very mature, poised guy personally. And then you throw in his great skill as a football player, just incredibly impressive."