AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreJon Byler Dan, survived the devastating tornado that struck Washington, Ill., by hunkering down in the basement clutching his four children – ages 8, 5, 2½ and 1½. But an important member of the family was still in harm’s way.Before the storm, as debris started to hit his house, he tried to coax the family dog, Maggie, downstairs but the skittish animal refused to leave her kennel. After the storm passed, Byler Dann emerged from the basement to find that his home had been destroyed above him. Maggie was missing and the family assumed their beloved pet was dead.(READ the story, w/ more photos in Weather.com)Photo by Charles Ledford of the University of Illinois, via Weather.comAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
USA: May 11 saw the unveiling at Newark Penn Station of the first of 26 ALP-45 electro-diesel locomotives ordered by New Jersey Transit nearly three years ago from Bombardier.The dual-mode locos were originally intended to optimise service through the new trans-Hudson tunnels between northern New Jersey and Manhattan then being planned by NJT. Passengers on the non-electrified Pascack Valley, Main and Bergen lines would have been able to reach New York without changing trains. But last autumn New Jersey Governor Chris Christie cancelled the new tunnels, part of the Access to the Region’s Core project. However NJT’s ALP-45s can still be used on the Morris-Essex, Main and North Jersey Coast lines, providing more flexibility and allowing more passengers a one-seat ride to Manhattan Penn Station; about 40% of the NJT system is not electrified. ‘These new locomotives will have the benefit of being quieter, more fuel-efficient and more environmentally-friendly than the locomotives they’ll replace, some of which are 40 years old’, said NJT Executive Director James Weinstein at the Newark ceremony. In diesel mode the new engines comply with the latest federal Tier 3 emissions requirements and incorporate a number of energy-saving features along with faster acceleration. The AC propulsion locos will cost around $310m, with delivery due to be completed by late 2012. Montréal suburban operator AMT has ordered 20 units costing $223m, with an option for 10 more. * On May 11 NJT approved the route for a 1·1 km elevated extension of the Hudson-Bergen light rail line from West Side Avenue across Route 440 to a redevelopment zone along the Hackensack Riverfront.
Last Updated: 1st April, 2020 11:44 IST NFL Playoff Expansion Proposal Approved By Team Owners Beginning From 2020 Season The NFL team owners voted in to approve the NFL playoff expansion ahead of the 2020 NFL season. 14 teams will make it to the postseason, 7 from each conference. Written By NFL playoff expansion: NFL owners decide broadcasting scheduleNFL further released the broadcasting details of the playoffs. According to NFL communications, CBS will broadcast one additional Wild Card game on January 10, 2020. Additionally, the game will also be broadcasted on Nickelodeon which is expected to be tailored for young fans of the NFL. Furthermore, NBC’s streaming services Peacock and Telemundo will broadcast another wild card round games on January 10 which will kick off later in the day. Also Read | NFL playoff expansion: Projecting The Upcoming NFL Playoff Bracket and ScheduleNFL playoff expansion: No delays in regular-season schedule?A separate report suggested, the NFL officials expect to play a full 16-game regular-season without any delay due to coronavirus outbreak. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport noted that the league expects to start the upcoming season as scheduled. Rapoport writes, ‘The NFL says the schedule release will likely be around May 9 — no later.’ First Published: 1st April, 2020 11:44 IST LIVE TV The 2020 NFL season will see the debut of the expanded playoff format after it was confirmed that the teams voted to expand the postseason by two teams. The NFL playoff expansion from 12 teams to 14 teams was already addressed by the NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) in the new collective bargain agreement (CBA proposal). Also Read | NFL playoff expansion: NFL CBA Proposal Increases Salary Cap To $198.2 Million Per Club; Cap Space For Each TeamNFL playoff expansion: NFL owners vote to approve new NFL playoff formatIt is reported, on Tuesday, voting was held via conference call between the NFL team owners. It is believed that the owners also discussed the expansion of the regular season to 17 games. However, the revamped regular season is expected to be effective ahead of the 2021 NFL season. NFL communications released an official statement which read, ‘Players and clubs both recognized that nothing energizes fans like the chance to see their team qualify for the playoffs and compete for the Super Bowl. Today’s vote during a league meeting held remotely follows the recommendation of the Competition Committee, Management Council Executive Committee and Media Committee on increasing the number of playoff teams from 12 to 14’.Also Read | NFL playoff expansion: NFL CBA Proposal Approved As Penalties For Consuming Marijuana Reduced, NFL playoff expansion set for next seasonNFL playoff expansion: New NFL playoff format and NFL playoff bracketThe revamped postseason format will see two additional teams from each conference qualifying for the playoffs. The No. 1 seed in each conference will receive a bye in the wild card round. Teams seeded No. 2 to No. 7 will then face each other in the wild card round. Sujay Chakraborty COMMENT Also Read | NFL playoff expansion: When is the 2020 NFL Draft? NFL owners to decide FOLLOW US SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE
In a rotational role on this defense that is now loaded from front to back and even in between thanks to his draft classmates Patrick Queen (LSU) and Malik Harrison (OSU), the former Aggie could be dark horse candidate to win Defensive Rookie of the Year honors if he piles up sacks and pressures while being groomed by one of the best in the game in Campbell as his mentor. After watching their beefy interior that included gap fillers Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce—who were widely recognized as the best run stiffing tandem in the league—got torn asunder in their divisional round defeat this past postseason and then witnessing the San Francisco 49ers’ uber-athletic defensive front wreak shop throughout the playoffs and nearly secure them a Superbowl title, the Ravens and General Manager Eric DeCosta were inspired to stray away from their typical archetype for their interior defensive linemen this offseason. He could have an even greater impact than Campbell on the production of the edge rushers this season. For years, he did the dirty work for the Broncos in the trenches and set up their outside linebackers like Von Miller, Demarcus Ware and Bradley Chubb up for sacks, pressures and quarterback hits that otherwise could’ve been his but the play wasn’t drawn up for him to be the looper on stunts, twists and in certain blitz packages. In the past, the Baltimore Ravens defensive line depthchart has been littered with 300 plus pound behemoths that specialize stuffingthe run first in foremost with their massive space-eating frames and stockybuilds. What’s the significance of mentioning the size and dimensions of Ravens past and present? With the exception of Ellis who is listed at 6-foot-2and 350 pounds, all of the other aforementioned defensive linemen are taller,weigh under or right around 300 pounds, and have slender athletic builds thanthe traditional bulky interior players that the Ravens have employed in yearspast. Former franchise greats and fan favorites like Tony Siragusa, KellyGregg, recently Pierce and currently Williams to name a few, have all been moreor less built the same and weighed well over 300 pounds. It all started with the acquisition of Calais Campbell via trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round pick. Then they let Pierce walk in free agency and he went on to sign a sizable contract for the Minnesota Vikings—he’ll fetch a pretty high compensatory pick in next year’s draft. While some may point to the lack of a premierpass-rushing talent on the edge as a knock on this unit, the collective talentand skillsets of this group will both complement and elevate the play ofdefense as a whole. In free agency, they resigned Jihad Ward and Justin Ellis who was part of the midseason reclamation project of the defense last season and were able to get former Denver Bronco Derek Wolfe for a steal on a one year deal after their contract with Rams’ Michael Brockers fell through. A month later in the draft, they picked up a pair of young defensive linemen from the lone star state with the selection of Justin Madubuike (Texas A&M) in the third round and Broderick Washington (Texas Tech) in the fifth. DeCosta and Co. saw that the best way to disrupt modern-day offenses whether they’re run heavy like the Tennessee Titans or pass-happy like the Kansas City Chiefs is to have athletic defensive lineman that can get great penetration to not only stuff the run consistently but put constant pressure on opposing quarterback’s at a high rate as well. This inspired them to target players and prospects of a different ilk to remake their depth chart at the position. Wolfe’s potential impact on the defense and the value at which the Ravens were able to get him at can’t be overstated or underestimated. He was on pace for a career year through the first 12 games of 2019 with seven sacks before his season was cut short by an elbow injury. He’s an upgrade from a pass rush standpoint over what they would’ve been getting from Brockers and the fact that he’s coming at about a third of the cost makes the overall value of the acquisition an absolute steal of a deal at a base salary of just $3 million with another $3 million in incentives. Interior pass rush and interior pass rushers havebecome very valuable in recent years with the accession of players like AaronDonald and Chris Jones who routinely finish among the league leaders in sacksand pressures. Even though he is the elder statesmen of the bunch, Campbell isstill a game wrecker up the middle and his 71 pressures in 2019 were the secondmost among interior linemen and 11th among all defensive linemen. A big reason why he was enjoying his best season to date last season is that his former head coach Vic Fangio brought over his system from his time in Chicago with the Bears that schemed up plays for every one of his players to make plays and get sacks, not just the perimeter guys. While he’ll get his fair share of one on one opportunities in Baltimore since they have so much talent around him, the fact that he excels at gobbling up blockers to spring his teammates to come off the edge or up the middle without hardly being touched will be a huge asset that defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale will most certainly take advantage of. The Ravens got more athletic and more versatile in the overhaul of the middle of their defense this offseason and it could pay major dividends in the fall. These new additions will not only improve their interior pass rush but their edge rush as well. The presence of Campbell, Wolfe, and Madubuike wreaking havoc up the middle will take some of the attention and pressure away from their outside linebackers crashing off the edge. That means that Matthew Judon could break thedouble-digit sack threshold in a contract year after being franchise-taggedthis offseason, rising sophomore Jaylon Ferguson could break out big time inyear two, veteran Pernell McPhee could have a nice bounce-back year afterending last season on injured reserve and Tyus Bowser could see a boom in hisproduction in the final year of his rookie deal. Williams will still be the anchor in the middle of the unit and the best run defender of the bunch. He was playing some of his best football down the stretch last season and has improved as an interior pass rusher even though it doesn’t reflect itself in the stat sheet—he did record a career-high five quarterback hits in 2019. He’ll be an excellent mentor for rising sophomore Daylon Mack who spent nearly all of last season on injured reserve but plays the same position and at 6-foot-1 and 340 pounds is built like Williams who is 6-foot-1 and 336 pounds. While Washington will likely be relegated to a backup role as a rookie that will have to fight to make the game-day roster, Madubuike has the potential to play a significant role in the defense in year one. He could be both Campbell’s and Wolfe’s primary backup at either three or five-technique which means that he could see a decent-sized workload in what will be a heavy rotation upfront for a Ravens’ defense that want’s to spell their veterans early and often to keep them fresh. The moves that DeCosta made this offseason will enable the Ravens’ defense to generate more pressure and get to the quarterback quicker without having to send more than five or six defenders. This will lead to more coverage sacks and possibly even more turnovers from quarterbacks making rash decisions because they are being flushed out of constantly collapsing pockets. The Ravens 37 sacks as a team ranked 21st in the league last season and thanks to some new additions, that number could go way up in 2020 thanks to their brilliantly remodeled defensive line that could emerge as the best unit in the league this year.Please follow and like us: