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  • 10 Aug
    导出博客文章NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Marcus Mariota sees a noticeable upgrade in the talent
    around him when he looks around the Tennessee Titans locker room.We have a lot
    of guys in here now that are just studs, and thats exciting, Mariota said. At
    the same time, now the expectations are higher, the standards higher, and thats
    what youve got to live by. We cant just come out here and be satisfied with
    enough. Weve got to be coming out here trying to get better.Well, at an
    NFL-worst 5-27 the past two seasons, the Titans certainly have lots of room for
    improvement.Amy Adams Strunk, who took charge as controlling owner in March
    2015, fired Ken Whisenhunt after a 1-6 start and chose to keep Mike Mularkey as
    head coach after he went 2-7. When she also hired a new general manager in
    Tennessee native Jon Robinson, who got his NFL start with the Patriots, it
    marked the first time since 1981 this franchise changed both coach and GM in the
    same offseason.Robinson started revamping the roster, bringing in a handful of
    free agents and trading for DeMarco Murray. He also traded away the No. 1
    overall draft choice and brought in 10 draft picks for Mularkeys exotic
    smashmouth offense designed to help out Mariota, the quarterback taken No. 2
    overall in 2015.Last season was tough, said Mariota, who lost only five games in
    his career at Oregon. At the same time, now we have an opportunity to build from
    that and get better. Im totally excited about it.Here are some things to watch
    for when the Titans report for training camp July 29:TENNESSEE BORDER: Mariota
    missed a combined four games as a rookie because he hurt each knee when hit in
    the pocket. Robinson signed center Ben Jones away from Houston and drafted Jack
    Conklin out of Michigan State eighth overall to bolster an offensive line that
    gave up an NFL-worst 54 sacks. An offseason injury to veteran Byron Bell erased
    the opportunity to move right guard Chance Warmack to left guard, and the Titans
    hope someone pushes undrafted free agent Quinton Spain, who started the last
    seven games in 2015 at left guard.IMPROVED BACKFIELD: Mularkey wants to run the
    ball much better to help Mariota and improve an offense that ranked 30th,
    averaging 311.8 yards per game. Robinson picked up Murray for the price of a
    revised contract and swapping 13 spots with Philadelphia in March, hoping the
    running back looks much more like the NFLs 2014 Offensive Player of the Year.
    For insurance, Robinson also drafted Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry out of
    Alabama with his third selection in the second round.The new running backs could
    help Tennessee end an ugly drought. Only Mariota has run for 100 yards or more
    over the past two seasons, and the quarterback needed the longest run in the
    league last December to reach 100 yards.CATCHING ON: Mularkey challenged the
    Tennessee wide receivers this offseason to step up and play better. Injuries
    ended the season for both Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter, and Dorial
    Green-Beckham showed tantalizing flashes without consistency. Mularkey has made
    it very clear to Hunter he expects the fourth-year player to be a receiver
    defenses cant stop. Robinson also signed Rishard Matthews from Miami and drafted
    Tajae Sharpe of Massachusetts in the fifth round; the rookie was working with
    the first team as the offseason program ended.LEBEAU IN CHARGE: Ray Horton left
    for Cleveland after losing the head job to Mularkey, and Dick LeBeau stuck
    around to be defensive coordinator. Hes made it clear the Titans will go after
    the quarterback much more this season, trying to improve from 12th in total
    yards allowed but 27th in points given up. Robinson brought in veteran
    cornerbacks Brice McCain and Antwon Blake, and Arizona safety Rashad Johnson.
    Linebacker Kevin Dodd of Clemson was the No. 33 draft pick overall.INJURY
    UPDATE: Linebacker Derrick Morgan, who had season-ending shoulder surgery in
    2015, is expected to be fully available at the start of camp. He was limited at
    times during the offseason. Dodd also is expected to be available after having
    preventative surgery on his right foot in late May.---Online:AP NFL website: and AP NFL Twitter feed:
    Teresa M. Walker at
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    . Halifax beat the Saint John Sea Dogs 7-5 on the strength of
    two goals apiece from Nikolaj Ehlers, Matt Murphy and Brent Andrews. Jonathan
    Drouin also scored and had three assists while Zachary Fucale made 17 saves for
    the Mooseheads (16-8-0), who led 6-1 after two periods.
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    . -- Former San Diego Chargers safety Paul Oliver
    was found dead at his Atlanta-area home Tuesday night, and a medical examiner
    said Wednesday that the ex-player committed suicide.
    . Here are his mid-season NBA awards. MVP: (KEVIN DURANT-Thunder) - Has been
    sensational this season and more importantly, the most consistent player in the
    league. Considering that his team has been without star guard Russell Westbrook
    and with the free agent departure of sharpshooter Kevin Martin, hes had to carry
    the majority of the load to not only keep his team afloat but more importantly,
    at an elite level.
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    . Coach Tom Thibodeau says the former MVP will
    probably start travelling with the team in the next few weeks. Rose tore the
    meniscus in his right knee at Portland in November and was ruled out for the
    remainder of the season by the Bulls.
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    . Clarke was injured while practicing on the Doha Golf Club
    range after the pro-am on Tuesday. The Northern Irishman arrived at the course
    on Wednesday hoping to start, but after hitting a few balls on the practice
    putting green Clarke advised officials he was not fit to play. Speculation is
    mounting that Formula One is about to be revamped by a U.S. takeover that could
    bring new life and a higher profile for a sport that is struggling to attract
    new fans.Media reports suggest that F1s largest and controlling shareholder, the
    hedge fund CVC Capital Partners, is preparing to sell the business to U.S. media
    conglomerate Liberty Media for around $8.5 billion; more than four times CVCs
    original outlay in 2006.At last weekends Italian Grand Prix, Formula Ones
    commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone met with CVC co-chairman Donald Mackenzie,
    whose rare appearance in the paddock fueled speculation of an imminent deal.
    When speaking at Monza, however, the 85-year-old Ecclestone would not confirm
    whether or not a sale is going ahead.Liberty, a multi-billion dollar, mass-media
    company is run by 75-year-old John Malone. He is ranked 184th on the Forbes list
    of billionaires -- 69th in the U.S. -- with a net worth of $7.1 billion, and
    Forbes credits him as being the nations biggest individual landowner, with over
    two million acres across seven states.Malone would not be a newcomer to the
    high-end world of sport, since Liberty owns Major League Baseball side Atlanta
    Braves.Reportedly, with Malone in charge, F1s new chairman would become Chase
    Carey, the executive vice-chairman of 21st Century Fox.Despite its American
    base, Ecclestone was skeptical as to whether a takeover by Liberty would
    increase F1s success in the United States, which currently hosts only one of 21
    races on the calendar and has no drivers competing in the championship. The only
    U.S. representative on the grid is the U.S.-backed Haas team, which arrived in
    F1 this season and has done reasonably well thanks to experienced French driver
    Romain Grosjean.To open the American market you need to have 10 races in
    America, sell tickets cheap and have a huge number of hamburger stands -- but
    then it would not be F1 any longer, Ecclestone told, the sports official
    website. But if all that scenario of the takeover is happening, then they can do
    what they want.CVC is F1s biggest shareholder with a 35.5 percent stake,
    followed by U.S. fund manager Waddell & Reed with just over 200
    percent.dddddddddddd Ecclestone has 5.3 percent stake in F1 but his family
    Bambino Trust has a further 8.5 percent, rounding up his involvement up to about
    14 percent.Ecclestones own position in the event of a Liberty buyout is another
    subject of interest in the F1 paddock.When asked about it, the British
    billionaire replied in his trademark enigmatic style: I havent got a clue.Red
    Bull team principal Christian Horner, who welcomed Libertys interest, could not
    foresee a near-term exit for Ecclestone even under new management.It could be a
    really exciting deal for Formula One if it happens, Horner told reporters at
    Monza.But for a new group to come in without him being there would be very
    difficult, so Id assume hell be around for some time.Like Horner, Toto Wolff,
    the Mercedes head of motorsport, is enthusiastic about the prospect of a change
    of ownership -- despite being a close ally of Ecclestone.Wolff, who was
    interviewed alongside Ecclestone by, highlighted that the sports
    longstanding business boss has built an empire and we are benefiting from
    it.However, Wolff is also aware that a new investor could boost F1 -- which is
    in a transition period as it tries to win back flagging TV audiences, battles
    against falling crowds and plans to implement new rule changes for 2017 designed
    at increasing speed and overtaking.Veterans like Jenson Button, Felipe Massa and
    Fernando Alonso are edging close to retirement, and a wave of talented young
    drivers, led by 18-year-old Dutch star Max Verstappen and 19-year-old Frenchman
    Esteban Ocon, is breaking through.Along with fresh investment, Wolff thinks the
    sport would also benefit from U.S. expertise in promoting sports in a digital
    world. By contrast, Ecclestone has been reluctant to open F1 up more to social
    media.There are things we can learn from the American way, particularly in the
    digital areas, Wolff said. They will have a close look and then analyze what
    they think needs to be changed and what needs to remain.There is a reason why
    these guys can afford to buy this. ' ' '