Three Rivers Budokai

Welcome to the Three Rivers Budōkai, Will, Kendall and Grundy County’s exclusive venue for the study of classical Japanese martial traditions.
There are no children’s classes here—we leave that to the local studios and rec-centers. The pursuit of perfection is one for adults, undertaken in the spiritually intense and self-disciplined atmosphere of a traditional dōjō.
In our dōjō we strive to perfect the techniques, arts, and strategies born of Japan’s feudal samurai. The techniques forge the body and spirit. The arts cultivate an appreciation of quiet elegance. The strategies provide a limitless means to implement both in the present.
For us, learning a technique well enough to do it with proper form, speed, power, and without thinking, is a good beginning…
But that is all it is: a beginning.

Panthers owner David Tepper talks plans for team, stadium development, more

CHARLOTTE, N.C. David Tepper was introduced as the new owner of the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday at Bank of America Stadium, a 22-year-old venue the NFL’s second richest team owner knows he needs to re-do.

But considering the saga that led to former team owner Jerry Richardson’s resignation and eventual sale of the franchise to Tepper, the future of the Panthers’ lair is just one of many intriguing questions the 60-year-old hedge fund manager faces in the early stages of his team ownership.

On addressing and preventing the harassment issues in the workplace that developed under Richardson:

I don’t know if (I’ve had) 24 hours yet owning this team. Still evaluating things. In general, I like to have an open environment, one big family environment where everybody feels safe. That means you can come up and talk to people. There’s going to be openness on all sides of this organization, both the football side and the business side.

They still have Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Noah Brown and Lance Lenoir. They added two other veterans, Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson, and they traded for Tavon Austin to fill the void of a hybrid receiving threat to complement Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield.

But Dallas’ biggest 2018 acquisition was third-round draft pick Michael Gallup.

Gallup (6-1, 201 pounds) looks the part of a young Bryant (6-2, 200 pounds) with his size, speed, physicality and ability to go up to get the ball. He doesn’t need to dominate as a rookie to at least parallel the production of Bryant, who averaged 817 yards and 7 TDs in his final two seasons in Dallas. Those are not unreasonable numbers for Gallup to reach as the Cowboys’ new X receiver.

Hurns was asked to line up everywhere when he played for the Jaguars. He was a solid No. 2 for Allen Robinson when both were healthy, and he proved to be effective in the slot last season. Reliable with his hands and routes, if he can avoid more of the injury issues that have affected him the last couple years, Hurns should be one of the biggest steals of the offseason.

Cleveland didn’t go 1-15. They were somehow worse. Time for a swim!

In 18 years, that first season remains the only time he’s had a losing record in New England. In his second year, he implemented an offense that elevated second-year quarterback Tom Brady to Super Bowl MVP. Since 2001, he’s averaged 12.3 wins per regular season and racked up 27 total playoff wins, including five NFL championships. No one in league history has ever won like Belichick has won.

Hue Jackson has gone 1-31 as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, and somehow the only repercussion from his worst-ever experience so far will be jumping into some water. In June.

Jackson will dive into Lake Erie June 1, following up on his post-2016 promise his Browns wouldn’t repeat their awful 1-15 season in 2017. While the woefully unsuccessful head coach was technically correct — Cleveland was somehow an even more ignominious 0-16 last fall — he’s still getting dunked in order to make good on [his] word.

Losing Miller was a major blow to a Chicago offense in desperate need of playmakers around then-rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky last fall. The veteran tight end was coming off the most productive season of his career despite having played just 10 games in 2016 and was tagged as Trubisky’s sure-handed checkdown target last fall. He struggled alongside early-season starter Mike Glennon but had developed a rapport with Trubisky, catching touchdowns in two of his final four games — three if you count the awfully-overturned reception that nearly cost him his leg.

The Bears have beefed up their tight end corps in his absence, most notably signing former Eagle Trey Burton to a four-year, $32 million pact. Adam Shaheen, a 2017 second-round pick, will also get plenty of chances to prove himself as more than just a ball of potential.

Chicago was well-staffed at tight end and didn’t need to sign a player who may never take the field. Instead, they kept Miller in the fold, rewarding four years of hard work and giving him a fair shake in his journey toward an NFL comeback. There aren’t too many six-figure signings to get excited about in the league, but Miller’s reunion with the Bears is one of them.

Josh Allen is drawing rave reviews in his first practices with the Buffalo Bills

Ryan Gates, a radio producer for WGR 550 in Buffalo, promised in March he would leave the station if the team drafted Allen with Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen still available.

The tweet came four days after the Bills traded Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns, leaving Nathan Peterman as the only quarterback on the roster. A day after Gates’ tweet, Buffalo signed AJ McCarron, the team’s likely starter for Week 1.

I’m joining the corporate world. I am a man of my word and it is because of Josh Allen.

Last week, Browns coach Hue Jackson followed through on a promise to jump into Lake Erie for somehow not improving a 1-15 team. In April, a Cleveland radio host said he’d eat horse poop if the Browns drafted Baker Mayfield — something he still hasn’t done and really shouldn’t. Just don’t eat poop, please.

But a career change might be the most significant promise we’ve seen someone follow through on. You have to respect Gates’ integrity, but the moral of the story here is to stop making sports guarantees, especially ones involving the NFL Draft.

The workout bonus is some offseason cash kicked over to the player if he meets a minimum attendance percentage for the voluntary offseason program (anywhere from 70 to 85 percent, depending on the team’s requirements).

The history behind the workout bonus, as I recall, is that in the old days, players held jobs elsewhere in the offseason. The workout bonus came about as a way to compensate those who wanted to devote themselves to their craft by working out at the team’s facility.

To be clear, the offseason program is voluntary and teams cannot force players to attend the workouts. Those who do meet a certain attendance requirement become eligible for their workout bonuses, which are typically paid out at the end of June.

Those who do not meet the requirement and hence do not collect their workout bonuses end up generating a cap credit for their team.

They can include a roster bonus paid to the player if he’s still on the roster by a certain date (usually no later than the fifth day of the new league year or if he makes the 53-man roster coming out of training camp); a per-game roster bonus (a typical clause given to a player with an injury history in which the player is compensated for each game he’s on the active 46-man game-day roster), and performance incentives which break down into likely to be earned (LTBE) and not likely to be earned (NLTBE).

Edelman’s suspension was upheld by a truly independent arbitrator

Many fans and media members are conditioned to respond to news of the failed appeal of a player suspension by shrugging and saying, What do you expect? The union allowed the Commissioner to be judge, jury, and executioner.

Perhaps at some point the arbitrator’s written decision will be leaked, but probably not by Edelman’s representatives. They likely don’t want the public to see that Edelman received a proper hearing from an independent arbitrator, and they likely don’t want the public to have a chance to digest the manner in which an independent arbitrator resolved a case that reportedly hinged in part on the vague notion that Edelman tested positive for unrecognized substance.

As previously surmised, that seemed to be a clever P.R. strategy aimed at creating the impression that the unrecognized substance possibly wasn’t a PED. However, the full context of the PED policy suggests the league determined that, even though the specific substance may not have fit within more than 70 specific anabolic compounds listed in the policy, the thing for which Edelman tested positive nevertheless had a similar chemical structure and similar biological effect(s) to an anabolic agent.

Regardless of the specifics, the generalities paint a clear picture: Edelman received a fair opportunity to argue his case, and a truly independent arbitrator wasn’t impressed. He’ll serve his four-game suspension, barring a highly unlikely legal Hail Mary that becomes even more difficult when the arbitrator is truly independent.

The second overall pick played 724 snaps in 12 starts, won four games and threw 330 passes. Watson and Mahomes combined for 486 snaps, seven starts, four wins and 239 attempts.

Trubisky learned a lot in his rookie season even if he didn’t have as much success as he had hoped.

The experience aspect and how to prepare day in and day out, Trubisky said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. The grind of how long the season is, because you obviously don’t get that from the college season. You add a bunch more weeks in the NFL in everything you’ve got to do on a day-in, day-out basis. The speed of the game, and how there’s no weak spots on the other side of the ball.

Jose Abreu drives a hit to right, knocking in a run in the top of the 3rd inning.

Reynaldo Lopez had just walked in a run when Shin-Soo Choo came up with a chance to give Texas a lead while extending the longest on-base streak in the majors this season.

The White Sox right-hander recorded that key out , and Chicago responded with a five-run fifth inning that included Matt Davidson’s two-run double in a 10-5 victory over the Rangers on Sunday.

You have to be confident in yourself every time, 100 percent, Lopez said through an interpreter. Have confidence in your pitches, and execute your pitches and execute a plan. I think that was the key for me that inning.

I didn’t feel tired in any moment of the game, Lopez said. But right now, yes. Especially because today’s game, a day game with the heat, and I feel really tired.

One-time Texas closer Joakim Soria pitched around two singles in the ninth and had three strikeouts in a five-out save. It was his 12th save of the season in his 14th consecutive scoreless appearance. It was also his first five-out save since 2009.

Five straight Chicago hitters reached with one out in the five-run fifth against Texas ace Cole Hamels, starting with ninth-hitting Adam Engel on a wild pitch after a strikeout.

Tim Anderson doubled, Garcia hit a run-scoring single and Abreu had an infield single before Davidson’s double off the bottom of the 14-foot wall in left field.

Two of Hicks’ home runs came against Price. It was after the second that was driven into a protective netting covering Monument Park beyond the center-field fence that Cora hopped out of the dugout to replace the starter.

If you take a look at the game, it seemed like the righties decided not to swing at the inside part of the plate, Cora said, referencing the Yankees’ patience with Price.

It appeared to Cora that they wanted to make him pitch away or out over the plate.

Price detected that, too.

The Shohei Ohtani Experience: Keep track of the Angels phenom’s two-way quest

As a starting pitcher and a designated hitter, Los Angeles Angels rookie Shohei Ohtani is embarking on a two-way journey that no major leaguer has successfully pulled off since Babe Ruth himself. Will Ohtani dominate on the mound and crush at the plate?

You still see him get a little flustered out there, manager Mickey Callaway said. But he regroups and makes the next pitch. Today he won the game for us because he did that, because they easily could have tacked on some runs there early. He held them right where he needed to hold them.

New York’s bullpen leads the majors in losses but limited Miami to one hit in the final 3 2/3 innings. Jeurys Familia completed the four-hitter with a perfect ninth for his 15th save.

Asdrubal Cabrera hit his 14th homer off Dan Straily (3-4). Todd Frazier had two hits and scored three times, and Kevin Plawecki doubled home New York’s first run.

Straily allowed three runs in seven innings, matching his longest outing of the year. Cameron Maybin hit his first homer for the Marlins, but they slipped back into last place in the division.

We just didn’t do a whole lot with Matz, manager Don Mattingly said. That’s probably the best I’ve seen him.

Matz loaded the bases with two out in the second by walking Straily, an .056 career hitter, but then struck out Starlin Castro to escape.

Matz also reached behind his legs to snare Lewis Brinson’s grounder and retire him in the fourth. But the left-hander failed to come up with Straily’s safety squeeze bunt with two out in the inning, allowing Miguel Rojas to score from third.

Do Yankees enjoy Subway Series games at Citi Field? Not necessarily

Here’s manager Aaron Boone’s explanation:

It’s hard to not have him in the lineup. Today, obviously not having our DH, so it’s one of our outfielders who is going to sit. He’ll be back in there (Saturday) I’m sure against (with the Mets starting left-hander Steven) Matz and (there’s) a good chance he’ll be in there Sunday.

Owens — he also skipped out of Minneapolis during Super Bowl weekend, saying he had to play in a basketball game in Los Angeles rather than take a bow with his Hall classmates — hasn’t revealed exactly how he’ll celebrate what he calls one of the greatest days of his life when he’s inducted.

But he won’t be in Canton. Maybe Owens has issues deeper than many can relate to, or perhaps it’s just a function of his particular worldview.

Sometimes, we just don’t understand and can only turn to a higher power.

That’s not what presents itself to him at this particular point in time. But skillset, he can do it all. He can catch. He can run. He can run routes as a receiver. He just happens to be here. And I’m glad we’ve got him.

Frazier, who said he hasn’t kept in close contact with his old teammates, was pumped about facing the Yankees.

The Yankees and Frazier talked about an offseason reunion but the Toms River native couldn’t pass up the $17-million, two-year offer the Mets made him.

It’s going to be awesome, he said. We’re playing at home. What could be better at that? The fans are going to be lit out there. They’re going to be excited. Can’t wait to be out there during BP, the excitement and that stuff. See the crowd coming in will only make it that much.

Goff’s field-tilting advantage lies in the beautiful mind guiding him at the line of the scrimmage. Similar to former Bengals mad scientist Sam Wyche’s no-huddle attack in the 1980s, McVay has done deep studies on substitution patterns, seeking the exact moment on the play clock when defenses adjust to his personnel.

When the Around The NFL Podcast sat down with Les Snead in late March, the Rams general manager provided a telling response to the question of McVay’s influence on Goff’s pre-snap acumen.

Execution and sequencing, LeBlanc said I’m throwing the same stuff I did in past seasons.

His last start was the best outing of his career, 7 2/3 shutout innings of two-hit ball with nine strikeouts and no walks in a 1-0 Mariners’ win at home over the Boston Red Sox. Mookie Betts led off the game with a hit, then Boston didn’t have another baserunner until two outs in the eighth.

I executed pitches and when they hit them, they went right to guys, LeBlanc said.

LeBlanc is staying humble. He knows there are ups and downs in baseball. His career is proof, as he’s 33-35 with a 4.23 ERA playing for seven teams over 10 big-league seasons from 2008-2014 and 2016-18.

By the way, his return to the Yankees bullpen before Tuesday’s game brought back one of his favorite baseball memories. He was with the Yankees for 12 days in June 2014, and prior to his one outing, he charged out of the Yankees bullpen and crossed paths with Derek Jeter during his jog to the mound.

Put it all together and you have a handful of dudes who can become stars this year (Coleman, Gordon, Njoku, Chubb, Johnson) and several who have already done big things (Landry, Gordon, Hyde, Johnson). 

When you look at the supporting cast in place for Taylor and Mayfield, it becomes clear the Browns are no longer a punchline. 

A healthy and hot Green can make up for the lack of talent elsewhere, but even he’s coming off the worst statistical complete season of his career (he averaged a career-low 67.4 yards per game and caught a career-low 52 percent of the passes thrown his way). If he doesn’t get back on track in 2018, Dalton will have one of the worst supporting casts in the league.

Unfortunately for Alex Smith, the league’s highest-rated passer in 2017 won’t have as much support at the offensive skill positions in his new home. 

Smith, who was traded from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Washington Redskins this offseason, joins an offense that is loaded with question marks. 

If Doctson and/or Richardson come through, Reed stays healthy and Guice delivers, Smith could have a top-10 arsenal. But that’s hoping for a lot. Still, the Redskins stay out of the bottom tier here based on potential and because pass-catching back Chris Thompson could be a game-changer if he can bounce back from the leg injury that ended his breakout 2017 season prematurely. 

When Paul Richardson and Jimmy Graham walked as free agents in March, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson lost two players who caught 16 of the 34 touchdown passes he threw in 2017.

Cardinals’ Alex Reyes reveals 1-year-old daughter is battling cancer

Cardinals starting pitcher Alex Reyes told reporters Tuesday his one-year-old daughter is battling cancer.

Reyes, who recently found out he will miss the rest of the season with a torn tendon in his right shoulder, said his daughter Aleyka was diagnosed with the disease when she was five months old.

While the Penn State product came to East Rutherford with plenty of accolades and lofty expectations upon his wide shoulders as the No. 2 pick in the draft, all of that will have to be checked at the door. His teammates will make sure of it.

Heck, you get a guy like that that’s talented, everybody’s excited about it, left tackle Nate Solder said. But it doesn’t matter what has been said or hasn’t been said, what matters is what we do when it comes down to it.

The recent histories of Sporting News’ annual NFL general manager rankings and annual NFL executive of the year award illustrate how hard it is to be a decision-making executive in the league.

Some who we have ranked last in a given year have gone on to win our award soon after — see the Raiders’ Reggie McKenzie and the Eagles’ Howie Roseman. There also are a couple we have honored with the hardware — the Colts’ Ryan Grigson and the Panthers’ Dave Gettleman — who didn’t stay in their positions for long.

Managing an NFL team comes with so many different tasks — evaluating, drafting, signing, re-signing, not signing, trading, spending, saving. That’s why it’s so difficult to measure one GM in relation to another. Fate can change quickly based on one home-run class of acquisitions or one decimating offseason of personnel downgrades.

It comes down to the overall quality of the moves and how they did or did not translate to a winning product, with bonus points for consistency.

Robby Anderson wasn’t apologetic.

Marcus Mariota more than willing to continue growing with current receivers

Titans tight end Delanie Walker said recently that he’d welcome Dez Bryant to Tennessee to round out the team’s wide receiver group, but there hasn’t been a sign that the team is plotting a move to bring the veteran to Nashville.

Mariota plans to get the receivers together before training camp starts in July and we’ll have to wait to find out if anyone new will be joining that group.

Owens’ decision comes after a drawn-out induction process to the Hall. Despite being second in career receiving yards behind Jerry Rice, the controversial wideout did not receive enough votes in 2016 and 2017 to get into Canton. His sometimes contentious relationship with the media and polarizing personality likely played a role in the delay.

Owens is also third in career touchdown receptions with 153, as he played for 14 years and made headlines with his stellar play and affinity for dramatic celebrations.

After playing in San Francisco for seven years, he spent two seasons in Philadelphia and three in Dallas, before ending his career with brief stops in Buffalo and Cincinnati. Owens, 44, has recently said he would like to return to the NFL, even highlighting the potential benefits of returning to the 49ers.

Belt was expected to be discharged from the hospital Saturay afternoon.

He will likely go on the disabled list and need an estimated two to three weeks to recover. SFGate.com notes Andres Torres had an appendectomy in September 2010 and returned in 13 days, but that was considered quick.

Belt was replaced Friday by Pablo Sandoval, but losing Belt to the DL is be a big loss for the Giants. Prior to Friday’s game, he led the Giants in batting average (.307), home runs (11) and RBIs (31).

He’s been swinging the bat as well as anybody in the National League, second baseman Joe Panik said of Belt (via SFGate.com). You never want to take that bat out of the lineup and that glove out of the field. Hopefully he’ll bounce back quickly and have the year we know he can have.

He missed all 16 games and spent the last month of season rehabbing in Europe.