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Hughes: Thompson should make run for Jacobs

first_imgAs general manager of the Green Bay Packers, Ted Thompson wields the awesome power of assembling and designing Wisconsin’s beloved professional football team.The architect of Green Bay’s 2010-11 Super Bowl-winning team, Thompson is basically the supreme football being in the Dairy State. He is The Creator.And what is especially special about this Wisconsin football god is he remains humble and elects to pass on using certain powers. He opts not to take advantage of free agency – only plucking away veterans (mostly journeymen) here and there to fill in a minor role or two – and leaves the other 31 teams scrambling to catch the big fishes in hopes of contending for a Super Bowl.That’s about as best as I can do to romanticize the snowy-white haired Thompson. But yes, seeing him ink center Jeff Saturday last week was as refreshing as taking a seat on the Terrace during such an abnormally warm spring. The closest thing I can compare it to is when Darth Vader decides to strangle people with his mind.There’s no other way around it: That’s a pretty badass thing to do. And part of the reason why it’s badass is because Vader doesn’t abuse it. Same with Thompson and his power. When they go ahead and use it, everyone’s careful to watch.So, knowing full well that Thompson uses a draft-centric management style and that I don’t want to ruin my glamorized vision of him, I still must voice my advocation for bringing running back Brandon Jacobs to Green Bay (besides, Vader strangled a subordinate of his not once, but twice in “A New Hope,” so why can’t Thompson go for two higher-profile players?).Of course, the Packers still could re-sign Ryan Grant, which is the most likely course of action Thompson will take. Grant’s been a fine player in Green Bay, rushing for over 1,000 yards twice (he came 44 yards shy in 2007). He also told ESPN 540 two weeks ago that re-signing with the Packers is his “ideal situation.”I’ve been waiting for the Packers to make some sort of splash at running back for a while now. I’ve never seen them draft a running back in the first round of the draft or bring in a name with weight. This offseason, there are more pressing concerns that warrant a larger investment. Running back takes a backseat.But for two years nowk, short-yardage situations have been killer for Green Bay’s otherwise first-rate offense.If you asked the Packers’ offense to drive to the moon, it could probably get there for you. But ask it to move the ball one- to-three yards, and suddenly the line of scrimmage becomes loaded with landmines and bear traps.With Ryan’s contract up and Jacobs on the market, the Packers have a chance to end that stumbling block.Jacobs will turn 30-years-old by the time the 2012-13 season kicks off, but he’s a 6-foot-4, 264-pound battering ram that knows how to negotiate the trenches and earn whatever an offense needs, be it a first down or a touchdown from inside five yards.He would be a role player in Green Bay, but obviously that would be fine with him. He’s split carries his entire career with Ahmad Bradshaw and Derrick Ward while playing for the New York Giants.The size and brutality Jacobs employs would also finally give the Green Bay backfield some diversity for the first time since Ahman Green, Tony Fisher and Najeh Davenport ripped through defenses from 2002-05.Grant and his counterpart last season, James Starks, are too much of the same brand of running back and are rather unexceptional. Neither are particularly fast, strong or agile. They are, however, hardworking and smart running backs, which is why they averaged 4.2 and 4.3 yards per carry last season, respectively, and combined for 1,137 yards.But they just don’t keep defense on their toes enough.Jacobs is not by any means an elite ball carrier, but he would offer a change of pace from the 6-foot-2, 218-pound Starks and fix the short-yardage issue. He would be a big reason the offense would stay on the field longer and keep Green Bay’s porous defense on the sideline.The only hold-up in this deal (besides Thompson’s general disinterest in free agency) might be Jacobs’ price tag. Jacobs and the Giants couldn’t reach an agreement over the size of the running back’s pay cut and part of the reason why Thompson doesn’t bring in free agents is because he figures they’ve been let go for a good reason and are, in general, too expensive.But Jacobs has been without a job for nearly three weeks while other running backs like Michael Bush, Mike Tolbert, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Peyton Hillis have found homes. And, if enough time passes, Jacobs will slash his price.But something would still probably have to possess Thompson in order to give Jacobs a call – and despite him being available since early March, there are no reports of that happening. Grant could also sign with another team. But he’ll obviously hear the Packers out before doing that.Thompson’s system has proven to be effective, but standing pat with Grant and letting Jacobs would go would be a missed chance at making the Packers better. With him, the offense could traverse any obstacle.Elliot is a senior majoring in journalism. Would you want Jacobs in the backfield for Green Bay? Let him know at ehughes@badgerherald.com.last_img read more

Game changer: Sirplay to outline DFS potential at Gaming Africa

first_img Related Articles Submit Share Better Collective appoints Shona ODonnell as global events lead July 2, 2019 Sportito makes LatAm debut in Brazil October 30, 2019 StumbleUpon Covid concerns see Clarion Gaming move ICE 2021 to April    July 15, 2020 Share Sirplay’s Joseph Oyekunle says that daily fantasy sports (DFS) could be a “game-changer for the industry” in Africa, as he prepares to speak at a new event launched by Clarion Gaming.Oyekunle, an African representative for the Malta based sports betting software provider, will be speaking at 3pm on the first day of this week’s Gaming Africa in Johannesburg (24-25 October).After illustrating the potential and attractiveness of DFS for the African gaming market, including benefits for both the players and the operators, he will describe a scenario where DFS and traditional sports betting can coexist on a betting platform designed to capture the millennial generation.Oyekunle commented: “Daily fantasy sports are not so popular in Africa, yet they could be the game-changer for the industry. This kind of game merges sports and fantasy, attracting millennials with its mobile-optimization and gamification. They are risk-free profits for operators and guaranteed entertainment for players.”Gaming Africa has been launched by Clarion Gaming to enable operators, regulators, and suppliers in the African gaming market to share knowledge and to debate key topics such as the impact of the continent’s growing economy on the gaming industry, developing payment technologies, integrity in sports betting and anti-money laundering initiatives.last_img read more