Big Ben’s 5 interceptions lead to 30-9 loss to Jaguars  

 

After the Pittsburgh Steelers laid an egg against the Chicago Bears 2 weeks ago, but after watching them lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-9, It was like the Steelers laid a dozen eggs.

Or at least 5, which was the number of interceptions that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw, with 2 of them returned for touchdowns, 3 minutes apart. I honestly don’t believe that I’ve ever seen that in a game. Their ‘high-powered’ offense failed to score a TD of their own, and RB Le’Veon Bell who finished with 15 carries for 47 yards against the NFL’s worst run defense. Steelers K Chris Boswell provided the points with 3 field goals.

The Steelers defense did sack Jaguars QB Blake Bortles twice and LB Ryan Shazier had an interception.

Although Jaguars rookie RB Leonard Fournette tortured the Steelers with 181 yards and 2 scores, it was Big Ben’s interceptions that hurt this team as he was quoted after the game “Maybe I don’t have it anymore.” HOF Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw also threw 5 picks in a loss to the San Diego Chargers in 1979. But that team won Super Bowl 14. Brett Farve, Drew Brees, Peyton and Eli Manning have also thrown 5 picks in a game.

Big Ben and the Steelers need to shake off this loss as they will play the hot KC Chiefs next Sunday. The 3-2 Jaguars will face the LA Rams next Sunday.

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Managing Your Grocery Budget While Living on Assistance Programs

Eating well on a tight budget continues to become a bigger challenge with each passing year. In fact, in the last 20 years, “food prices have risen 2.6 percent a year on average.” Among budgets high and low, everyone is experiencing higher grand totals each time they visit the checkout lane at the grocery store.

For those living on assistance programs, this impact is even more significant. Whether you are receiving assistance for your housing payment, food expenses, or medical expenses, an increase in your grocery bill can make your situation even more difficult. It is essential to have strategies to stretch your funds as food prices continue to rise. If you are currently looking for ways to manage your grocery budget while living on financial assistance programs, explore these valuable tips.

Cook unprocessed, whole foods

Receiving funds from assistance programs for food is a much-needed help. However, at times, it can feel almost impossible to eat healthily on a restricted budget. Skipping fresh foods for items such as pasta, canned goods, and other highly processed foods may seem like the only way to make your budget work. However, did you know that whole meat, frozen vegetables, and rice are some of the least expensive foods available? While prices vary depending on your location and individual grocery store prices, frozen vegetables can be purchased for as low as $0.99 per bag, and large bags of rice that will last weeks or months are usually no more than a few dollars. Items such as whole chickens can often be purchased for between $4-$6 at many stores. It is less expensive than many people think to put together a healthy, nutritious meal.

Use physical and digital coupons

Want to save as much money as possible on your food purchases? Look for coupons from a variety of sources. Websites that offer physical coupons allow you to print the coupons you want and use them at the store. Instant save coupons can also be found on products in stores. For those who have a smartphone, some stores offer in-app coupons. Even if you don’t have much time to spend searching for coupons, it pays to take a look at each grocery store trip.

Be brand flexible

When you choose to buy the brands that are on sale rather than just one brand, you have the potential to save big. Check the weekly sales ad to see which brands are on sale, and plan to buy those instead of a more expensive brand of the same item.

Look for deals on products close to the expiration date

Stores want to sell as much of their products as they can before the expiration date. When meat, dairy, and produce are within a few days of their expiration date, stores will often offer a major discount. Look carefully for products that are marked down for this reason, as they are usually mixed in with products that have later expiration dates. Also be sure that you will be able to use what you buy before the expiration date listed.

It is possible to eat well while living on assistance programs

Even though managing your grocery budget while living on assistance programs can feel discouraging, these strategies will help you make the most of what you have. Utilize as many coupons as possible, look for bargains, and buy brands that offer the best sales. As you develop experience using these tips, you will see that it is possible to eat healthy foods and buy what you need.

Jess Walter Contributor

 

Ray Jr. on Sports

 

  1. Antonio Brown Apologizes for tantrum-And he should’ve. The Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro WR expressed his frustration after QB Ben Roethlisberger overlooked him on a play in their 26-9 win vs. the Baltimore Ravens. Brown yanked away from offensive coordinator Todd Haley and threw a Gatorade Cooler. I’m glad he apologized because it was uncalled for.
  2. Brown’s Apology-Here’s what he said, “I let my emotions and genuine excitement get the best of me, and I wanted to share that moment with our fans,” Brown said in a statement posted on his Twitter account. “It was wrong of me to do, against the team and NFL policy, and I have apologized to Coach Tomlin and my teammates for my actions…” Good job Antonio.
  3. Mike Tomlin’s view on Brown’s Tantrum-The Steelers head coach had this to say about his WR “B. is a competitor, we all know that. It aids him, it aids us. He must control his emotions. If not, it can work against him, it can work against us. Those are lessons you learn along the way.” And my favorite quote “I’m not going to waste a lot of time talking to Antonio about not throwing water coolers and so forth,” Tomlin said. “Be a professional.”
  4. Is Brown Selfish? I don’t think he is. But he is We all make mistakes, and he’s entitled to his. For me, it was just surprising to see him erupting like he did. But let’s be real: He’s not the first well-known player to do so. New England Patriots QB Tom Brady cursed out an assistant coach, HOF QB Steve Young did the same, and Peyton Manning chewed out a player…all on the sideline with the cameras rolling.
  5. Ryan Clark Called Brown Selfish-Apparently one of Brown’s former teammates thinks he is. Former Steelers safety Ryan Clark is part of the media with ESPN where he expressed how he felt about Brown’s antics “If you listen to people talk about him. If you listen to the media, a lot of time the fans, they have an adoration for him that is not necessarily a depiction of who he is. He’s like most receivers. He’s selfish.” Ouch.
  6. Steelers vs. Jaguars-Oh yeah, the Steelers next game. Yes, they take on the 2-2 Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday at Heinz Field. The Jags are tied for first place (with Houston and Tennessee) and haven’t looked like the struggling team that they’ve been the past few seasons. In fact, they’re one win away from their 2016 total.
  7. How can the Steelers beat the Jaguars? The same way they beat the Ravens, by imposing their will on them with the running game and defense. Sure, Big Ben and Co. need to do their part, but the Jags have a decent secondary who will probably be looking for Brown and Martavis Bryant. This was also a team that destroyed the Ravens in London a few weeks ago and should’ve to beat the Jets last week. But I think the Steelers can beat this team if they stick to their principles.
  8. DE Cam Heyward Receives Honor-The Steelers defensive captain earned AFC Defensive Player of the week honors after registering 2 sacks and a forced fumble Sunday. So far, he has 3 sacks on the season. Not bad for a 3-4 lineman.
  9. Steelers Injury Report-To be honest, only T Marcus Gilbert (Hamstring) didn’t participate. The rest of the team is basically healthy, which is a good thing. You don’t want to use injuries as excuses, but who wouldn’t want a healthy team on gameday? T Chris Hubbard will likely start in Gilbert’s place if he doesn’t return Sunday.
  10. KC Chiefs are 4-0?? That they are and of course folks still point out that they also destroyed the Patriots in Week 1. They honestly look well balanced on offense and defense. But we’ve seen KC have strong starts before, with disappointing finishes. Therefore, they haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1969. But I like how this team looks right now. We shall see.
  11. Chuck Noll Foundation Announces Special Grant-This Foundation for Brain Injury Research was announced in December 2016 by President of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Arthur J. Rooney, II. In so doing, the Steelers pledged $1 million to the foundation, established in honor of Noll, recently announced the launch of its inaugural grant cycle and a generous community-based contribution, which was given to board member and former Steeler Merrill Hoge and honored neurosurgeon Dr. Joe Maroon July 25th for his outstanding leadership in brain injury research.
  12. Pitt vs. Syracuse-Fresh off their 42-10 win vs. Rice, the Pitt Panthers (2-3, 0-1, ACC) will now travel to Syracuse to face the Orange (2-3, 0-1), a team that they’ve beaten 4 consecutive seasons, but they’ve had to earn those wins in Syracuse in which the margin of victory were 3-points or less.
  13. Remember last year’s Pitt/Syracuse Game? Of course, you do. Pitt beat Syracuse 76-61 in what was the most points scored ever in a college football game. As impressive as the offenses were was also as horrible as the defenses were. I’m sure Pitt doesn’t want to give up 61 points, especially after giving up 59 vs. Oklahoma State a few weeks ago.
  14. Max Browne-Well, he surely gave us a good game Saturday, and he’s earned a few awards because of it. After passing for 410 yards and 4 TDs Saturday, he was named ACC Offensive Back of the Week and was also recognized as one of the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award’s”Great 8″ performers from this past weekend. Additionally, the Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, named Browne one of its eight “Stars of the Week.”
  15. Can Browne Beat Syracuse? It all depends on which Max Browne we will see Saturday: The one who played in Pitt’s first 4 games, or the one who played vs. Rice. I think the win vs. Rice gave him some confidence and showed him what a playmaker WR Jester Weah if. Just give the young man the ball and Weah will make plays. As much as I wanted Ben DiNucci to start, I hope Browne keeps it going.
  16. Saquon Barkley- I ‘m liking what this Penn State RB is doing and it’s no surprise that he leads the Heisman Trophy list so far. Barkley has 574 yards rushing and 6 total TDs. He also had a 98-yard kickoff return and threw a TD pass in the win vs. Indiana. The kid can do it all.
  17. AP Top 5- Alabama 2. Clemson 3. Oklahoma 4. Penn State 5. Georgia. It’ll be cool to see Clemson and Penn State duke it out come playoff time, but it’s still too early to discuss that, especially with Georgia knocking on the door. Only a loss will knock Alabama out of the #1 spot. Too bad they don’t play Clemson.
  18. NBA Changes All-Star format-I must shake my head. The NBA has decided to forego the East vs West Conference All-Star format and have teams named by captains. What does that remind you of? The NFL when they did so before returning to Conference teams. Not a clever idea NBA, but you’ll find out, just like the NFL did.
  19. OKC Pays Westbrook-He won the NBA MVP and now OKC Thunder’s Russell Westbrook was shown the money as he agreed to a 5-year $205 million contract extension. He now joins Golden State’s Steph Curry, Houston’s James Harden as the NBA’s $200 million men.
  20. WNBA has new champion-Congrats to the Minnesota Lynx, who beat the LA Sparks in their Finals on Wednesday. It’s the Lynx’s 4th title in 7 years. Sylvia Fowles won the Finals MVP after scoring 17 points and an amazing 20 rebounds.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

Pat Narduzzi Press Conference  Syracuse Week

 

PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO: Narduzzi Syracuse Preview 

PAT NARDUZZI: Good to be with you again today. Obviously, it was a much more pleasant Sunday here with our kids. A lot of energy in the room last night compared to a lot of sad faces and disappointment here in the last couple weeks that we faced.

I couldn’t be happier for our kids. I mean, that’s kind of why you coach this game is to be around our guys and to enjoy wins together. There was a lot of good things on tape you watched. There’s a lot of little things you’ve got to fix. Fumbled on the one yard line with some communication errors on offense, just blocking lines of fourth and one, same thing. Just really communication more than we couldn’t block them up front. Little errors like that; you’ll see a guy run through with a front call, whatever may have been done there.

And defensively, pretty solid performance overall except we gave up a 70-yard pass on a coverage where, you know, safety has got his eyes in the backfield trying to look and say, I wonder if he’s going to throw it there. And by the time you get your eyes back around, he’s got too much time and he didn’t get there fast enough.

But the next challenge is Syracuse. Obviously a good football team that came in here a year ago and put some points up on us and we put some points up on them. Defensively, I think they are a lot better football team than they were a year ago. I think they are somewhere, 49th or 50th in the country in total defense. They are playing well…Coach Ward has got them going on defense.

They have got some junior college guys in. They are playing faster, playing a lot of man coverage, packing the box. So they are going to try to force us to try to throw it over their heads or loosen up, one or the other; and if Jester and Max play like they did last weekend, that could be fun to watch.

And then offensively, again, they spread it out. Coach Babers is a very creative guy, the old Baylor coach, and you see all those things. They did some stuff that we had never seen before a year ago, with pulling a tackle out and they had never seen it before, and now they are doing it all the time. They must like it.

So we’ll be obviously better prepared for some of those, just quick-now routes, where they are getting a blocker on you, taking a tackle and putting him on the corner. Some interesting, interesting stuff. But I’m sure they will have some new creative stuff for us.

Tempo will be an issue that our defense has got to cope with, and I think with our depth on defense right now (knocking on wood) and we’ve been pretty darn healthy. You know, Phillipie Motley is probable for this weekend, so we’re going to find out how he looks this week. He did a lot of things last week, so you add another corner in the mix, it just gives you some guys that we can rotate. We were a little short last year, which, you know, was part of the problem, and then plays on the field were another part of the problem.

Look forward to that challenge again, going up there and playing in the dome.

Q. You had mentioned last year’s game — how much did you look back at that tape?
COACH NARDUZZI: You look at it a lot. We’ve looked at that thing probably 15 times in the last year. You look at it a lot. You look at, you know, they are going to come out and do some of the same things. They are going to do a lot of things different and you try to prepare for what they possibly could do. You are looking at all the games they have played this year. You have a five-game breakdown plus that, so it’s like a six-game breakdown that you are looking so say, who are they this year because everybody is a little different 2016, 2017, and then find out what kind of new wrinkles they want to do based on what they have seen us also have problems with.

Not only are you looking at what Syracuse is doing, but hey, what are your weaknesses; what are they seeing. They want to get matchups. Sure, they are going to try to go after our safeties, and I would, too.

So we have got to shore up what we are doing with those guys, how we are doing it. And you know, they can go after the corners. I hope they go after the corners because I feel good about who those guys are out there right now. I feel a lot better than we did last year at this game.

And then we’ve got to stop the run up front. They are 34th in the country, I think total offense, so they are very balanced at running it and throwing it.

So it’s not just throwing it around the park. They have got a lot of, you know, short stuff they will throw out there, and they are talented. They have got some players out there.

Q. In trying to attack the safety, they have this kid Philips who had 17 catches. Is that sort of what they try to do, get matchups?
COACH NARDUZZI: They are getting matchups. They put smaller guys inside and try to work your safeties, put their bigger guys on your corners. So some of the bigger receivers are out there. Ishmael is out there. So they will put their bigger guys outside and throw some jump balls and they will put their small guys in and try — it’s something to deal with, that’s for sure. It’s interesting stuff and they spread you out.

Q. You’ve seen what they do on tape — how ready are you —
COACH NARDUZZI: We’re not ready at all right now but give us a couple days and hopefully we will be.

Q. When you played Oklahoma State there was a lot of trying to get guys on the field, the right packages between snaps, obviously to go tempo. At what point does it become — you have to be wary as a coach of trying to do too much, too quickly; just saying, keep the 11 on from snap to snap and hope they don’t screw it up?
COACH NARDUZZI: If they sub, we’d like to sub, okay, so that’s the first thing is the referee will give you one of these (stretching arms out wide to the sides). You’ll see the umpire, there’s been times I’ve watched tape, and they are subbing and you can see the personnel changing. And you know, and again, coaches coach, players play, and officials got to officiate.

But if they sub and Jerry (points to beat reporter Jerry DiPaola) comes in the game, we are supposed to have time to say, okay, Jerry is in. He’s a bigger tight end, okay. He doesn’t run so well, okay. We can get someone else who doesn’t run so well in the game —

Q. Jerry’s got game speed —
COACH NARDUZZI: He’s a gamer. (Smiles) So we should be able to sub. But there’s times you’ll watch on tape where they are not standing over the ball, and that center judge should be staying over the ball — 11 best out there, if it’s three-and-out, that’s great. But if it gets in a longer drive, and that’s what they want to do is get a big play on you. And you’re going, oh, gosh, let’s sub them out, and then they are going to go even faster at that point.

Q. Schematically, how similar are they to Oklahoma State?
COACH NARDUZZI: They are very similar. I think to attack us, they are going to play three and four wide-outs. A year ago, empty was their favorite formation, so they are going to line up on empty and ding, ding, ding and just throw it around. And just remember, they did that all last year with their backup quarterback. Dungey was out and Dungey’s back now.

Q. They ran the ball pretty well against you guys last year.
COACH NARDUZZI: They started off throwing, it got us thinking all the stuff out there, and then, you know, then our linebackers started looking.

So our guys got to trust what they are doing and you know, trust it. But you see linebackers running in the box and then thinking, okay, it’s not a run, again, because they are just going to throw it over my head. So they start to run out towards the pass and then it is a run.

I mean, you’ll see Seun Idowu, who doesn’t normally do that, do that several times, and it’s like, you know — so they play that cat-and-mouse with you, throw it out there, and then run inside.

So no, we didn’t — that’s why I said, it’s a challenge and that’s why they have successfully, 34th best offense in the country right now based on the numbers; they have successfully ran it and thrown it on everybody they have played.

Q. Speaking of the run game, do you like the combination of Bookser at tackle? Does that give you the best chance to run the ball?
COACH NARDUZZI: Right now he does, I mean, based on, not only run the ball, but protect the quarterback, too. He did a good job of protecting Max last week and that’s critical.

Q. When it comes to the issue of running the ball, is it the same things you saw from the previous week, just running backs and all other guys, pretty much involved.
COACH NARDUZZI: You know, it’s a little bit of, you know, just not running the ball like we need to and not blocking them as good as we need to. Again they are packing the box up in there.

So again, whether you want to throw it or run it, I mean, I think they assume let’s pack the box and make this quarterback throw the ball. Well, guess what? He did. We hadn’t seen it thrown like that before. So you know, Max is — Max is back, and we’ve just got to keep him that way and we’ve got to be able to throw the ball this weekend, for sure.

Q. How much can a game like that help you in the future with Max– teams know now they have to play you honest in the passing game —
COACH NARDUZZI: Jester got his touches and threw the ball up there. Max has got confidence he can do it in the game, and I think Coach Watson and his staff got confidence, hey, we throw it up there, we’ve got a chance. You know, whatever it is.

There’s a lot of guys made plays out there from Aaron Matthews to Lopes. There was a lot of playmakers out there. It wasn’t like we were throwing it just to him. I think there was a lot of good things that loosens it up. You can die by one player or you can loosen up a little bit and let us run it a little bit, I guess.

Q. How much was it what you guys were doing versus who you were playing against? The level of competition will be a little bit higher, so evaluating tape off a game like that, how do you weigh that?
COACH NARDUZZI: Again there’s so much parity in college football now. You look at, you know, some people that are winning football games out there nowadays. It’s not like it used to be. There’s parity. There’s a lot of good football teams out there. Rice is a good football team. They have got guys that are good football players.

There will be a couple guys on that football team playing in the NFL. So you know, was the competition — you know what it was a year ago when we played Clemson, or Oklahoma State? No. But it doesn’t mean they can’t make plays, and you talk about this. Again it wasn’t like they won by seven, either. That was the other thing you look at it. It was a convincing win. It wasn’t a 28-0 half-time and then we stopped playing in the second half.

So we learned our lesson there, and it was a convincing win. I mean, I think we scored in every drive in the first half offensively, except for the one; we fumbled on the one.

Q. What I was trying to get at is more like: What did you see on film from an execution standpoint that you think is going to hold up over one week to the next, as opposed to is Jester a better athlete —
COACH NARDUZZI: We’ll find out. We’ll find out this week. But there was better execution. I think our kids stuck with the plan. Overall even in the run game when it didn’t go, the guys are hitting the right holes. And again, there was more execution in the passing game as far as doing the right thing. The week before, we could still be better blocking downfield with our wide-outs for sure.

But our receivers, their releases were better. There was just more — sometimes receivers get into that tendency of just I’m going to run a route and not run it the right depth. There was still a little bit of that going on, either the wrong landmark for a tight end or, you know, a bad release by a receiver. Releasing inside, okay, which brings the corners eyes inside which is not good. So all those details, which I saw get cleaned up a lot.

Now we have to have consistency, too. So one week doesn’t define you as a football team or an offense.

Q. Now that Max is back, do you think going back to him instead of turning away from him, and he does that, can sort of help his confidence?
COACH NARDUZZI: I think so. And again, I don’t think he lacked any confidence at all, anyway. I think he’s a very confident kid. I think most quarterbacks are confident, and so is Ben. Ben is ready to go too, now.

You guys asked me — Jerry asked the crazy question: You think you found your quarterback? For a week we did. And Max has got to continue to play well or Ben will jump back in there, and I trust Max will do that. I love what I saw.

To me I saw a different, more calm, composed guy that made quicker decisions, and that’s what we’ve got to keep him — he’s got to know how he got to where he is, what he did to get there and to again. Again, versus a good pass rush, too. Our offense did a great job. We gave up three sacks, and one was a tight end, one was a back, one was a lineman. But overall, we protected the quarterback for as much twists and movement they were giving us inside.

Q. Doesn’t one’s confidence get taken to another level when he sees the ball get caught —
COACH NARDUZZI: Find out this week. Confidence is a good thing for sure.

Q. With Max now back to being the starter, how much of a leash is on him, how much leeway — what does he need it do to retain that spot?
COACH NARDUZZI: He needs to keep doing what he’s doing. There’s no leash. Put you on a leash. There’s no leash. We’ll drag you around game time. But there’s no leash. I mean, we don’t put leashes on any of our guys. We want him to go out and play, play football the way it’s supposed to be played, and we’ve got a faith and trust in him that he can go out and do that.

Q. Are you expecting your offense to have to have the best game of the season going up against the Syracuse offense?
COACH NARDUZZI: You know, I never say, you know — I think our defense has got to play the best game of the season, too. I think we have to play great as a unit: Offense, defense, special teams. You can’t go in there and say: Hey, offense, you’d better score a lot of points because they are going to score a lot of points. That’s a poor attitude to go into a game with.

We have to play better in all three phases to win a football game. It’s a good team, and we’re still a young team, but there’s still plays to be made out there for everybody.

Q. How would you evaluate your defensive line and how they have played so far?
COACH NARDUZZI: You know there’s a lot of good things they are doing and there’s a lot of things that you want to see better, you know.

But again, we’ve got total different defensive line than we had a year ago. So there’s a bunch of young guys that are a work-in-progress right now, but I like what Coach Partridge is doing and it takes time.

Q. Any of those guys stand out the most? Seems like Weaver is the one that has made the biggest jump.
COACH NARDUZZI: Weaver has done some good things. Dewayne Hendrix, I tell you what, he can run and burst. He does some special things out on the field at times.

But inside Shane Roy has been really, really steady. He was the defensive unsung hero this week just because he does everything right inside and did a nice job.

Q. What do you think has led to the increase in turnovers, the forced turnovers?
COACH NARDUZZI: Them putting it on the ground and throwing it up to us I guess. They want to take shots — our guys are making plays on the ball. You look at Dane Jackson, that’s a beautiful — you talk about Jester Weah having confidence, and you go back to, you know, do they have confidence to throw it at number 11. Because they keep throwing at number 11 the last couple weeks and he’s made plays out there. You might complete one, but then you throw a pick and that’s a change-of-field position and a major factor where quarterback is going, maybe I shouldn’t do that.

You know, I think there’s a lot of factors that go into that but I’m happy with the way the corners are playing.

Q. There’s been a lot of talk this year about inexperience of defense. At what point, with game six coming up, does that not become a factor?
COACH NARDUZZI: I don’t think it ever becomes a factor. I think we’re going to be a heck of a much better football team in a year from now if we don’t lose much, and we’re going to have guys that have been through the fire.

You know, you wish they would learn weekly but it’s hard. It took you years to be a good writer. It didn’t happen: ‘Hey, I wrote a bad newspaper article today; I’m going to write a good one next week.’ I guarantee it; it takes time for things to gel and for them to really figure it out. You think they figure it out, but they go back to the same things. It’s just a time thing I think.

Q. But coaches have to have a lot of patience then.
COACH NARDUZZI: Better. Just like a dad. Better have a lot of patience.

Q. Are you a patient dad?
COACH NARDUZZI: I’m pretty patient. My wife will tell you no. But probably more patient at the office than I am at home.

Q. Damar Hamlin, has he been getting the most snaps?
COACH NARDUZZI: I would say it’s about even. Him and Bryce have been playing probably about even, guessing, without counting.

Q. Having already played Penn State — how prepared do you think the defense is to face another offense who does RPOs —
COACH NARDUZZI: Well, I mean, I think we are better prepared now but we’ll find out. I mean, that’s why we practice, and you know, we’re definitely going to see RPOs, okay.

I think our guys kind of looked at it, and again, I told you after the Oklahoma State game we went and watched that tape because it’s going to help us for the future. You know, not only were we watching Syracuse tape; we’re watching that Oklahoma State tape to say: What are they seeing, where is their matchups, what do we need to do to defend that better.

The only problem is, they only give you 11 guys to do it with, so we’d like to get 12, but they ain’t going to give them to us.

The Healing Center ( Southwestern PA Medical Cannabis Dispensary Award Winner) is hosting a Job Fair at the 4th Annual Cornhole Classic to benefit Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard!  

 

Pittsburgh, PA – The Healing Center was awarded a medical cannabis dispensary permit in the Southwestern health district of Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, June 29th, 2017. The Healing Center has three dispensary locations currently under construction, in Washington, Monroeville, and Cranberry, with planned openings in early 2018.

 

The Healing Center is conducting a job fair at the 4th Annual Cornhole Classic to benefit Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard, Saturday, September 16th, from 5 pm to 8 pm, at the RMU Island Sports Center. Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending homelessness among veterans in the Pittsburgh region. No purchase is necessary to attend the job fair. The Healing Center will be screening applicants looking to fill positions at all three locations; including full time and part time pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and customer service representatives. The Healing Center offers a competitive wage and benefits for all full-time employees.

 

The Healing Center considers applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status. The Healing Center is an equal opportunity employer. Minorities, women, and veterans are encouraged to apply!

 

 

The Healing Center is a locally owned, Pennsylvania company.

“The Healing Center – Where Compassion Meets Care”

www.thehealingcenterusa.com

Pat Narduzzi Press Conference 

Oklahoma State Week

 

PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO: Narduzzi Oklahoma State Preview

PAT NARDUZZI: We had an opportunity to meet as a team last night and really zip up the chapter of last week and really move on to the next. I think it’s always important to close it and move on to the next week. Obviously it didn’t end the way we’d like it to but that’s how things fall sometimes. I think we’ve got a darn good football team. As I told our kids last night, you watch the tape from the game and it’s a game of inches. Our motto this year is to ‘take it’ and we didn’t go out and take it. That’s the thing that really bothers you the most as a coach. It starts with the coaches and finishes and ends with the players. We just didn’t take it like you’d like to. It is a game of inches and there’s times where we can, whether it’s a linebacker fit on a quarterback run, and if we just (move) a little bit over here and you fit it right, you know, whether it’s a catch, make the catch, get the 1st down, make the explosive play, it changes the game. Whether it’s stuttering in your route too much without getting out of your break, it’s just a game of inches, and you look at the tape, and you pop on that game tape at the end when we kind of had an incomplete pass on the shovel near the end on about the 10-yard line. If he catches that, he’s looking up the field, if he catches it there’s a hole as wide as this row here to go. So it’s those game of inches that we’ve got to go take, and that’s kind of what that motto was, and we certainly haven’t taken it yet, but we’ve made strides from week one to week two, which is all you can ask for. Good football team, like I said after the (postgame) press conference, and pretty much felt the same way after watching it. As a matter of fact, I probably felt better after watching the tape than I did after, but I felt pretty good about what we did and how we did some things against a good football team.

And we’ve got another one coming in this weekend. It doesn’t get any easier, as you guys know, No. 8, No. 9 top ranked team in Oklahoma State that we went out and battled a year ago that we know has talent across the board from the D-line back and O-line to James Washington and Mason Rudolph. I mean, they’re very, very talented and our focus has to go to them. We finished meetings, which we usually don’t, on Sunday night just really splitting up individually and going to watch Oklahoma State tape just for a little bit, not an extended meeting, but just to get their minds on that. So that’s the most important thing at this point.

With that, I’ll open it up to you guys for questions.

Q. What was your reaction when you heard James Franklin’s comments about beating you guys was comparable to beating Akron?
PAT NARDUZZI: You’d have to ask him. I really don’t have — you can ask that question. I really don’t have — they went low, we went high, and you would have to ask him. I’m sure he’s got a press conference.

Q. After watching the tape, as you mentioned the opinion on the quarterback and the passing game has been varied. After watching the tape again, what was your opinion of what you saw from Max Browne?
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, it’s a great question. You know, it doesn’t change from what I thought after the game. As a matter of fact, I felt better after watching the tape. Obviously he’s not perfect, but there wasn’t one guy, coach, player, SID that was on Saturday. He had some — you look at it, and we look at accuracy as far as him throwing the ball, not a burn, which Coach Watson says throw away incomplete passes, but I think he had six incomplete passes that he was accurate. He had one that he was off, and one he’s trying to throw away, didn’t throw it away far enough, and got picked off.

But I was pretty happy after watching the tape with him more than I was maybe after the game, and I wasn’t disappointed after the game at all because I told you how I felt after the game. You know, so does he have room for improvement? Yes. And so do I. So I don’t see it any different.

Q. That being said, how concerned are you about protecting him? He took a shot at the end of the Youngstown State game.
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, you guys saw him afterwards so you maybe know what I’m talking about. He took a shot, and I don’t like how his helmet came off. I don’t like how we ran that whole thing. But I am concerned about protecting him, so we’ll do some things protection wise to help protect him better.

We’ve given up too many sacks, period, so something has got to change there. And again, it’s not just one guy, and everybody will point to one guy over there, but the first one is really a tailback in protection didn’t come back and get the guy when we knew based on the safeties that that safety goes back, the pressure is coming here, get over there and all those things. It’s not just who’s blitzing, it’s looking at reading the back end to give you pre-snap ideas of what’s going on. So little things like that, and that’s the taking it that we need — you can’t have those little errors and beat a good football team.

Q. Are you concerned with the hit or with the fact that he didn’t have his helmet on tightly enough?
PAT NARDUZZI: No, no, I’m concerned with just how it happened. It’s in a pile. I can’t see what happened. But I’m just concerned that I’ve got a guy whose helmet comes off and he gets gashed like that. I don’t want to see that happen. I don’t want to see it happen to your son, I don’t want to see it happen to my son or anybody’s son. When you have a helmet on, you’re not supposed to get gashed like that.

Q. It looked as though especially the linebackers were playing faster as the game went on and were very physical and were matching them play for play.
PAT NARDUZZI: I thought we played slower as the game went on, not that — and again, you know, we need to probably play a couple more guys in there, and overall, they were okay, but we need to play faster. You know, Seun Idowu took a lot of snaps. I think Chase Pine got in for a series. I’d like to see him get another series. We’ve got to stay fresher. This week with the tempo we’re going to face, there might be some more guys playing.

Q. Another game where your corners didn’t allow big plays; do you feel good going into this week?
PAT NARDUZZI: No, I don’t feel good when I look at James Washington out there and Mason Rudolph. You don’t feel any better because I don’t care who they play, just go put on Oklahoma State; big explosive passes and runs for that matter because as soon as you start playing cover two and trying to put two over that guy, it’s out the gate going 98, and that’s not good, either. So it’s pick your poison, but I do feel good — better about the match-up this year than I do a year ago. But are we going to leave that guy on an island all day like we did last year? No.

Q. With the game last year, do you think this a game where your secondary is going to feel I guess extra motivation based on —
PAT NARDUZZI: Redemption? Yeah, I sure hope. I do.

Q. How did the O-line rotation sort of play out in your mind last week and how do you see it, I guess, changing going forward?
PAT NARDUZZI: You know, I don’t see it changing a whole bunch. You may see a couple changes in here and there, but I think we played six guys. I don’t know if Mike Herndon got in this week, but he’ll probably get in this week. But Bookser was back, so you’re with one less guy.

Q. Can you describe the talent level of this Oklahoma State team compared to what you saw in Clemson last year and how beating them would be a landmark victory?
PAT NARDUZZI: You know what, every win is a victory. Beating a top-10 team here at home at Heinz Field would be another statement win. Will they be the national champion? Maybe, who knows. They’ll be in the conversation with the talent they have. But they’re very talented.

To compare Oklahoma State to Clemson, it’s hard. The one comparison I can make is it’ll be orange, so they’re going to bring orange in, okay. That’s my only comparison. And they’re fast. They’re big and they’re fast and they wear orange, so pretty good comparison.

Q. Are they just as fast?
PAT NARDUZZI: I think so. I think they are. You look across the board talent-wise, I think Justice Hill is going to be the fastest tailback we face this year, I’ll tell you that. He’s fast, No. 5, you watch him, he’s fast.

Q. How do they compare to Penn State?
PAT NARDUZZI: Different talent. I think the Big Ten is different than the ACC, and the ACC is a different than the Big 12. I think the Big 12, ACC athletically compared to the Big Ten—and (I) have coached in it for eight years—those receivers are going to be a little bit different. We didn’t have problems locking down the No. 1 receiver Saturday, did we? And I haven’t had troubles in the past. But when you talk about locking down some of the NFL wide-outs that’s come out of the Atlantic Coast Conference and I’d compare it to what we saw last year out there, I know now, you don’t naturally go out and play Oklahoma State to see — before last year I’d say it’s the same. What’s the difference? But James Washington is a different animal. He’s a first-round draft choice next year. I was voting for him to come out last year. I thought he had a nice little bonus. But what are you going to do. He’s obviously really smart, too, because he’s going to get an education.

Q. Dane Jackson and Damarri Mathis, it seemed like Dane Jackson got more playing time.
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, he got a lot more playing time because he’s been producing. Another good question. We’ve had those guys as ‘Or’ (on the depth chart) and I could still put it as an ‘Or,’ but we’re going to have to play the ‘Ors’ this week because they’re going to go vertical and then they’re going to run another receiver on and we’re going to have to run another DB on, so I would expect to play more DBs this week, so the ‘Ors’ for sure this week. But I think you put those ‘Ors’ on there because we feel just as good with that Damarri Mathis as we do Dane Jackson, and that’s why there’s an ‘Or.’ If you don’t see an ‘Or,’ you could say maybe Maddox and there’s no ‘Or’ there; why is there not an ‘Or.’ Because you could really put on there — right there, you could put Maddox or Mathis on either side. But I know you guys would hate that, so I don’t do that to you. But Damarri is the next guy in right now, and hopefully some more guys develop.

Q. What has Dane Jackson done to improve from where he was last year?
PAT NARDUZZI: You know what, it’s a year of confidence, a year of technique, and been there before. That’s what I said, we’ve got a young football team, we’re learning every day.

Chris Clark, he’s a guy that’s going to get down on himself and we’ve got to pick him up. I don’t have to go yell at Chris Clark. He wants to catch that ball. It’s like I told Chris, you’re going to catch that — it’s your first time — the first week you don’t get any opportunities, then you get opportunities, you don’t make them. The next time you’re going to have opportunities and you’re going to make them. It’s a learning curve. And that’s kind of how we coach our guys. It’s the same thing for Dane. Sometimes it’s learn under fire, and that’s what happens at the corner spot. That’s what happens at the linebacker spot. Every spot on the team is — you learn. So I think reps, confidence and have been there before helps you. Some of these young guys that are playing now, what’s Jimmy Morrissey going to look like in a year? I mean, that guy is snapping the ball, pulling around and making some great blocks on the edge. Nobody is talking about some of the young guys that are still making plays. I’m like shocked some of the things he does. It’s hard to be a center, snap the ball and pull, too.

But catching the ball down the field, I mean, great route by Chris, he’s just got to finish it, and he will. I have no doubts about it. Just like Kessman, we look at what he did the first week and then he goes into that atmosphere, from the right hash that he doesn’t like, just so you guys know, but he expects to make two. I’m looking down like maybe we should have centered the ball for this field goal on 3rd down, but he puts both of them up from the right hash, so improvement, and trust and faith in our kids.

I couldn’t be prouder of our kids the way they attacked the game, they prepared for the game, and they finished the game, you know, with class, and that’s kind of who we are.

Q. And no or at quarterback, either, that being said, will you look for opportunities to find snaps for Ben DiNucci?
PAT NARDUZZI: No, we were looking for opportunities in the opener. Ben is a good football player. We’ve told you that, and he did some nice things in there. Ball security is still an issue. But I told him that last night, so I’m not telling you anything I wouldn’t tell him. I love Ben. He’s a competitor. You can see that. He competes out there. He’s not afraid of anything, and we’ll clean up some things. He blames it on me in scout team from his freshman year, which is beautiful. But it may be so just because he was running for his life on scout team. That’s where he got it from.

But he’s a great kid, and I’m just happy with him getting an opportunity. Got to score his first rushing TD and he wanted one more and we just didn’t quite put that one in at the end.

Q. Does that mean you’ll look for opportunities for him?
PAT NARDUZZI: I would like to look for opportunities. It’s easier said than done when you get in the game. It’s a hard call. We wanted to do it in the second quarter of the Youngstown game, and I said, let’s get one more TD, and then we didn’t get one more until overtime. But we wanted to get him in early, but you know.

Q. Do you guys feel you’re missing George Aston’s presence in the red zone a little bit?
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, obviously you’d like to have him out there, and he’s getting closer day by day, so we’ll see. I’d say he’s questionable for this weekend, but you never know. I mean, there’s a possibility even for this week, so we’ll — but you know, you miss George everywhere, not just in the red zone. Again, we got opportunities in the red zone to make some plays and we don’t, the red zone is no different than coming out. If you don’t make the play — so I don’t think the red zone is any different than just upsets everybody else a little bit more because you got that close. We had two or three 15-play drives for 77 yards and we’re kicking — it’s like nobody has those. They got an 8-yard drive for a touchdown, we got 15 plays and get three. We’re executing a lot of plays really well up front. We were more explosive last week than we were against Youngstown State, so what’s that tell you. So we got a little bit better, and we had a chance to have some more.

Q. Along those lines, Aston and James Conner both scored a ton of touchdowns in that area. Do you think you’re trying to find those players who can kind of punch it in or is there play calling you need to hone in on?
PAT NARDUZZI: I think it’s finding the guys to make the plays, and then also blocking for him, too, let’s not forget about blocking. It’s easy to score touchdowns when you’ve got Biz over there and Dorian so there’s a lot of missing pieces out there, and then you’ve got Dontez Ford, who’s a great blocker out there. There’s times receivers are in the end zone blocking and looking back. Well, what are you looking back for? Just block that guy, put him on his back, send him out of the end zone, so there’s all those little things that — young guys are going like this, looking back, oh, he’s coming; let me block now. No; you’ve got to block all the time. And there’s that thing called the whistle; when it blows then you can look back and stop. Those are little things that we’ve got to continue to do.

Q. As a defensive-minded head coach, is this the type of offense you look forward to seeing your guys respond to?
PAT NARDUZZI: I like both. It is fun to do that. I also like those slow guys that can’t run the ball and can’t run down the field. That’s fun, too. So I like a little bit of both, more of the second than the first. But it is a challenge, and it is a fun challenge. You walk in there and it’s fun. You’re all — there’s times I walk in the D staff, like hey, I’ve got an idea, how about this, and sometimes they go like this, see you later. But you know, no, it is a challenge and it’s fun, and it’s what we coach for.

Q. With Jordan Whitehead set to come back after this week, is this sort of a last big chance for Jazzee Stocker, Bricen Garner and Dennis Briggs to sort of make their push?
PAT NARDUZZI: It is. It is. Again, I’ve been happy with Bricen. Stocker probably hasn’t got as many opportunities as you’d like, but Bricen has done a nice job practicing every day, and then he’s out there. The great thing is it’s like Maddox and Dane. We’re not pulling them to put Damarri in, and if we’re pulling him it’s because there’s a problem. It’s the same thing, Bricen has been in there making tackles, and it’s like, how do you take him out. Do you really want to find out? I don’t know. If the guy is — if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. But I wish — I’ve got confidence in Stocker, too, to go in there, but it’s just like the quarterback spot, too. You kind of don’t want to mess with the mojo if things are going good. It’s like if you miss the tackles, it’s easy put the other guy in there, let’s go.

So we’re going to need three, four, five guys back there. It’s not going to be every game where you’re just playing four guys in the secondary or five. I think we played five back there really all day Saturday, and we’re trying to compete and win the game and keep our best on the field, too, all the time.

Q. Your run game on Saturday, were you happy with that?
PAT NARDUZZI: For the run game I’d say probably. I don’t know what we rushed for, net rushing and all that. You take five sacks of yards out of it, we’re clearly over 200 yards rushing again. The sacks take you out of that. So I’m happy. But you know what, there’s some explosive plays in there that we’re missing. There’s some explosive plays that are just little stuff. I mean, Alex Bookser, if he pulls around and goes north and south instead of east and west and gets the guy that’s there, not the guy on the other side of the room, it’s out the gate, and those are just — but it’s hard, there’s things flashing in front of you, fronts and stunts and things going around there. So I’m not saying it’s easy, but like anything else, it’s those fine details that win football games.

Q. Not to put too much into the depth chart, but you added Therran Coleman and Damar Hamlin this week. They weren’t on it the last two weeks. Do you think they might be —
PAT NARDUZZI: Yeah, they’re getting closer. They’re getting closer, and they’re on the depth chart. That’s probably said enough, right?

Q. Can Damar play? I saw he was dressed Saturday.
PAT NARDUZZI: He’s getting closer. We’ll find out this week. He’s getting closer. That’s why he was dressed. Is that the first day he was dressed? Little by little, we’re getting there.

Q. As frustrated as you are with the results of some of those drives, stylistically is that who you want to be? Consistently, methodically moving the ball…is that the blueprint?
PAT NARDUZZI: That’s what we were last year. I mean, so those come, I guess, and you had explosive plays. Was it James? Was it opportunities? Was it a two-year quarterback as opposed to a two-game quarterback? There’s a difference of what you’re dealing with, and those will come, and — they’ll come. Again, do we have patience? Yes. Do I like it? No. But we’re close to some more explosive plays, and that’s all you can look for.

Q. Is Henderson frustrated at all?
PAT NARDUZZI: Not really, no. I’m getting frustrated with him. How about that. (Smiles)

Q. You mentioned James Washington, but they just seem to keep adding big wide receivers.
PAT NARDUZZI: Oh, yeah. They’ve got them all. That’s the one that scares me the most, but I’m scared of all of them.

Q. How tough is it to try to stop Washington when they’ve got all these other options?
PAT NARDUZZI: It’s not easy. They’ve got Washington on one side, and then they’ve got the big guys on the other side, the Lacy kid and then Ateman, a transfer from LSU (Johnson). Those are their 225-, 215-pound big — Ateman I think is 6’4″, played against us a year ago. So they’ve got them over place. They base out of wide outs. You’re going to see three wide outs on the field most of the time. They’ll do a little bit of two wide outs with play action pass and try to run, but they like to run the ball. The thing about Coach Gundy is he likes to run the ball as much as he likes to throw it. It’s not just a pass-happy throw it to James Washington and some of the big athletic guys they have out there. But very talented football team.

Q. What about the quarterback just briefly, completing 70 percent of his passes. Is it a high percentage offense or is that —
PAT NARDUZZI: They throw some dinky stuff like we do, but then they throw those big long ones, and that guy runs by a lot of people. He did it to us last year a couple times, and again, we were in coverage and they’re catching balls out here. They do a great job of available — you’re going to see the ball wherever you guys sit in the press box or 20th row, you’re going to see that ball go up and come down like a punt, and it gives the receivers an opportunity to run under that ball and make it a jump ball, back shoulder. So that’s something that we know now. We didn’t really know going into it. Who looks at the elevation of the ball. It’s just kind of the way Mason throws it a little bit, but they do a good job of throwing the football, and we will work hard. I’ll have to get my arm out there, get it loosened up and throw some good balls.

Q. We (in Oklahoma) know a lot about Youngstown because of the Stoops brothers. How did Youngstown shape you? Growing up in Youngstown, how did that sort of shape you?
PAT NARDUZZI: It’s kind of like being in Pittsburgh. As I’ve told some of the locals here — the locals, I sound like I’m from Oklahoma now. But the city of Youngstown is like Pittsburgh. It’s a smaller city. It’s a tough city. There’s not a lot to do there. EJ used to go to Idora Park, I was working out. There was a little amusement park there that he always talks about so I know he was on the Wildcat (rollercoaster) a lot. But I just think it’s a tough city that there’s a whole lot — not a whole lot to do, so you lifted weights, you played football in the front yard, you played basketball, you dunked. There was just all those things. You were into football, and again, coming from a coaching profession where my dad coached for 30 years, it didn’t matter where we lived, we were into it, whether Kentucky, we ran 13 houses down, crawled through a little hole in the fence and there we were at practice. But Youngstown was where I spent most of the time, and it’s a tough city like Pittsburgh, steel, tough, and iron sharpens iron, I guess.

Q. Are you just a little younger than Mark Stoops?
PAT NARDUZZI: I don’t know how old Mark is. We just played against them. But the Pelinis, the Stoopses, they went to Mooney, I went to Ursuline. You guys have heard these stories before. But I would say probably we played against each other, put it that way. Mike, Mark, Bob.

Q. A couple years into this, what have you learned from the Pitt job that you didn’t know when you took it?
PAT NARDUZZI: That we have the best reporters in the country. (Laughter) That’s the first thing. I would say — that’s true. They’re supportive, and even though I don’t read your stuff, at least I like entertaining you and seeing your faces every day. At least I’m not miserable looking at you. So I am happy there.

But all the tools you have here. I mean, I think when you become a head coach, you want opportunity to get better. This room wasn’t here when we got here, so the support from the top down, from the chancellor to a couple ADs the we’ve had and Scott Barnes who’s at Oregon State now and Heather Lyke now, I mean, the support is there, and as a coach that’s all you can ask for, support. So that’s the main thing, and then we’ve just got to continue to recruit, and it takes time to get where we want to get.

Fun activities for preteen summer 2017

Summer vacation is here. While your younger kids are thrilled to pieces, your older kids may be a bit low key. They want to hang out with their friends and have a good time. Being a teenager is a difficult age, but there are plenty of activities which can keep them occupied and safe over the summer.
First and foremost, adhere to your teen’s interests. If they like to read, for instance, encourage them to start a summer reading list. Take them to the library or a local bookstore. Allow them to rent or buy extra books on their e-reader. This is going to give them something to do that is thrills them. Some people like to read in order to escape into a fictional world. Others like to read in order to learn something. Tell your teen that they can read anything they like. Encourage them to keep a reading journal. They can note which terms they didn’t understand, write book reviews, or write lists of books they want to read next. They can even write down notes of concepts or characters. This may encourage them to write their own book.

 

Water parks are also popular with teens. While they don’t often like to be seen with their younger siblings, allow your teen to bring along a couple of friends. Let them go off on their own as long as they check in throughout the day. That way you can remain with their younger siblings. This gives your teen the independence they are seeking. They are nearly grown up, mom and dad. Let them act grown up and don’t be that helicopter parent. Don’t embarrass them around their friends by making them check in every 15 minutes. Loosen the leash and let them enjoy the water slides on their own. They’ll be fine and check in by lunch.

 

If you have a daughter, chances are they are into beauty. Mom, this your cue. Take a day where it’s just you and your daughter. Go to the spa and get pampered. Get your nails done, both a pedicure and a manicure. Get a massage and let your worries sweat away. Your teen is going to appreciate that you are doing an activity that specially relates to her. She doesn’t mind doing activities with her younger siblings, but it’s important that you make her feel loved and special. Setting apart a day just for your teen daughter is going to speak volumes to your daughter’s self-esteem and confidence.

 

You may also want to set aside a day just for the family. Have what is known as family challenges. Who can build the best sand castle? Who can win the round of mini golf? Play a game of water balloon baseball, in which someone throws a water balloon to someone that has a bat in hand. Make it a fun challenge that includes each member of your family. Have fun prizes for the winner. For example, the winner may get to pick out a new toy at the store or they get an increase in their allowance. Maybe they can throw a cream pie in the face of one of the losers or not have to do any of their chores for two weeks. Make it fun and everyone is going to have fun as well.

 

Finally, go to a park. The park may be local or within another city, but make sure it has interests of the entire family. If your teen enjoys walking trails for instance, try to find a park that offers that. It may be fun to pack a picnic basket with a lunch and find a park bench. This gives you the opportunity to take in a bit of nature. Your children may see a bunny hopping past the picnic table or there may be playground equipment to play on afterwards. Spending time outdoors is always fun, but as kids grow up their interests change. Meet your teen halfway and help them find activities to do. Otherwise, they may be super bored or stuck within their electronics. That’s never good for parents or the child. Happy summer!

NBA Playoffs: The Defending Champs are Ready

Are you ready for some basketball? It’s about to get real in the NBA and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers may appear not to be ready, but don’t you believe it. The Cavaliers are not the top team in the Eastern conference heading into the postseason, but that may have been a smart move.  Cleveland is entering the playoffs on a four-game losing streak and in the last game of the regular season, Tyronn Lue sat his stars.

So, how is this a smart move entering the playoffs as the second seed as opposed to pushing to be the top seed? Well, in my opinion, Lue got his bench active and involved just before entering the most important part of the season. Wednesday in the finale big man Edy Tavares pulled down 10 boards, Derrick  Williams scored 10 points and James Jones dropped in 9 points and pulled down 6 boards. Not impressive numbers, but numbers just the same. If by chance Lebron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving can not go at least the reserves will have some type of court time and will not have a problem giving the big three support.
By the way, did I mention that sharpshooters Kyle Korver and JR Smith will be ready to roll and Cleveland also has Iman Schumpert and Tristan Thompson ready to roll. So I think that the Cavs could have cared less about the outcome of the final four games of the regular season. The obvious focus was getting healthy for the postseason.
Speaking of the postseason  Cleveland will tip off all the action Saturday against the seventh seed in the East, the Indiana Pacers in the Quickens Loans Arena. That game will be followed by the Milwaukee Bucks battling the third-seeded Toronto Raptors.
Saturday night the Western conference action gets underway as the San Antonio Spurs host the Memphis Grizzlies followed by the L.A. Clippers hosting the Utah Jazz.
Sunday the Eastern conference action continues as the Atlanta Hawks pay a visit to the Nations Capital to play the Washington Wizards, followed by the top seed in the East the Boston Celtics hosting the Chicago Bulls. The Western conference action continues with the Golden State Warriors host the Portland Trail Blazers followed by a battle between two triple-double machines as the Houston Rockets host the Oklahoma City Thunder.  Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook broke Oscar Robertson’s 55-year-old record of the most Triple Doubles in a season with 42 and he faces off against his former teammate James Harden of the Rockets who had over 20 triple doubles himself this season.
So buckle up your seat belts today because the NBA playoff ride starts Saturday and if you liked the “March Madness” of the college basketball tournament, your gonna love the steady rain of excitement coming your way in the NBA playoffs.
Trevin A Jones

Stretches you can do right at your desk

 

Working the 9-5 life is not easy. It involves excessive sitting at a desk, too much staring at a computer screen at not enough moving around. By the end of the day your wrists hurt, your feet ache and everything from your lower back up aches. How can you be achy when you haven’t don’t anything but sit in an office chair? Sometimes it’s the office furniture, but most likely it’s due to not moving around. If you want to avoid those aches and pains, try these office stretches.

The first exercise is a wrist flexor. Those that type for a living will especially appreciate this. Move your arm out straight and place your other hand right in front of your fingers. Your palm should be facing you. Press your hand and your fingers toward you, holding for 15 seconds. Release and relax. Now, move your hand down and press down on the upside of your palm toward your body. Hold this for fifteen seconds and release. This exercise helps with those that have repetitive moments at work. It releases the muscles and tension.

Another exercise is the seated gluteus stretch. The gluteus is located in the buttock. These muscles have to be strong, or it could cause injuries. Sit in a chair for this exercise and bring one ankle over the other knee. Now, keeping your back straight, lean your torso forward. You should feel a stretch in your gluteus; they should be getting tighter. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds and then switch sides. Do at least five exercises per side.

The low-back rotation stretch is another common office stretch. When your lower back starts to ache, this is an ideal time take a break and do this stretch. Sit straight up in your chair and in the middle of the cushion. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor and that your back is straight. Then, twist your body, making sure your shoulders are aligned with one another. Twist to the point that you feel a stretch in your back. Hold this position for fifteen to thirty seconds and then release. Repeat this exercise going the opposing way.

You may also try the dynamic hamstring stretch. This is a yoga stretch that targets the thigh and butt muscles. Start the exercise by lifting your leg onto your desk and straighten it. Your body should form a 90-degree angle. Bend your knee on your standing leg. This is going to deepen the stretch that you experience as a result of the stretch. Hold this pose for a few seconds and then release, changing to the opposite leg.

Finally, the dynamic quad stretch is a perfect office exercise. Stand tall in front of your desk, bringing your foot to the surface of the desk. Stand a few inches away from the desk to prevent you from leaning on it. Also, it helps if you keep your hands at your sides. Similar to the last exercise, bending the leg of the opposing leg is going to deepen the stretch for the leg that is bent. Hold this pose for a few seconds and then move onto your opposite leg.

How to Scent Each Room in Your House

Real estate agents often advise homeowners to bake bread or cookies before a viewing. Filling your house with a delicious food smell might hurry the sales process, but in everyday life, is oatmeal and peanut butter an appropriate scent for the bathroom? There are practical reasons for choosing different scents for each room in your house. Besides, if you use one fragrance too long, eventually you will not notice it anymore. Not only will you lose the experience, but you might try to compensate by upping the dosage, creating an overpowering atmosphere for guests. Here are some ideas for which scents to apply to each room, and how to invite different moods into the areas of your home.

 

Hallway

You might not have thought about applying scent in your hallway, but everyone’s first impressions are made here. Use fresh, floral fragrances to transition from outdoors to indoors. Hide a plug-in spray underneath a console table, or fill a vase weekly with fragrant blooms to provide a focal point. Potpourri would also look nice, but beware of heavy musk’s, and keep it light. Cut grass, lemon oil, hyacinth, jasmine, and magnolia are all fresh scents to welcome guests to your home.

 

Living Room

This is likely the main area of your house and the one room that should reflect your personality. Food scents are not always a good idea, as everyone’s focus will be on the dinner rather than conversation. If using lavender and chamomile, choose an energetic scent to complement them, as they have a sedative effect. Choose a lively, unusual scent, and do not be afraid to use musks in moderation. Sandalwood, orange oil, berries, cedar, and vetiver are good choices.

 

Kitchen

Naturally, this room lends itself to food scents. There are hundreds of varieties now available in candles and diffusers. Avoid plug-ins, as the residue may land on food preparation surfaces. Again, fresh flowers are a good visual source. Use fresh-baked cookies, cinnamon, strawberry, apple, sage, rosemary, and basil. Be aware that you also may want to use scents to deter insects and cover up cooking smells; citronella does wonders, as do lemon and citrus candles.

 

Bathroom

Use fresh, non-heavy smells to give your bathroom a spa-like atmosphere. Fresh linen works well, as do cotton and natural smells like rain and sea breeze. Be aware that you will also be able to smell the cleaning products you use, so choose complementary scents in bleach and toilet cleaners if you can.

 

Bedroom

You want to foster an atmosphere of relaxation and sensuality here. Dark, heavy scents work well. Do not be afraid to layer, but avoid overpowering the room if you have trouble sleeping. Incense sticks work well here, as do plug-ins and candles — arranged safely and never left attended. Use rose, lavender, vanilla, berries, patchouli and lotus flower for deep relaxation and harmony.

 

It is possible to use scents to cover up odors such as cooking, pets, and cigarette smoke, so if there are areas of your home that are prone to a malodor, make sure you pay attention to the scents you use nearby. Reed diffusers are an excellent safe and potent way to disperse scent and are best placed high and out of reach of pets and children. Remember some pets are sensitive to smells such as citrus and eucalyptus, so use these carefully and choose products with as few chemicals and pollutants as possible. editor@urbanmediatoday.com