Big Data Giant Joins InfoChimps to Save the World’s Structured Information

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting “Many problems we have today – including social and economic instabilities, wars, disease spreading – are related to human behavior, but there is apparently a serious lack of understanding regarding how society and the economy work. Revealing the hidden laws and processes underlying societies constitutes the most pressing scientific grand challenge of our century.”Revealing the hidden laws and processes underlying societies constitutes the most pressing scientific grand challenge of our century. That may or may not be overstated, but the point is: data is essential in order for us to develop the full extent of self-awareness that science can offer.MetawebMetaweb, where Bollacker was Chief Scientist, was a company best-known for its product Freebase, which it describes as An entity graph of people, places and things, built by a community that loves open data. Founded by Danny Hillis, a computer scientist whose name is usually said in hushed tones, Metaweb raised nearly $60 million to build its giant structured semantic graph.Metaweb was acquired this Summer for an undisclosed sum and parts of the Freebase technology have turned into Google Refine, “a power tool for working with messy data.”“At large scale there are classes of applications you can build that you can’t do with 50 items in a data set, but with 50 million or 50 billion items,” Bollacker explains. “Statistics, searches to find patterns, etc.“I have no illusions that in 20 years, Google will still be paying to keep Freebase online as a service. I have an interest in making sure these bulk data sets stay alive. I think Infochimps has part of a model that could help that happen.“One of the things I’ve learned is data that is loved tends to survive. I think the Freebase data is underloved. I think we can build extracts out of Freebase. They publish regular dumps. We’re going to grab sections of those dumps, make them better indexed, better labeled and better described.”Bollacker received a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and it was in his trips back to Austin that he met Infochimps CTO Flip Kromer, a Cornel educated Mechanical Engineer, University of Texas physics education specialist and super-geek.“The knowledge and experience is a huge known quantity,” Kromer says of Bollacker’s joining the company. “I got into this to build out the open data part of it. The best way to build the open data commons for the world is to do it within the context of a mixed open and commercial thing that makes everybody smarter. We’re building out the commercial part, that’s what we have to focus on. With Kurt on board, I have no fears that we’re ever going to lose our soul. We won’t lose sight over the central mission of making everybody smarter.” Sometimes highly accomplished people just have to join crazy little startups. It’s always exciting to see what happens when they do. Data scientist Kurt Bollacker is one of those people; he’s decided to join Austin-based bulk data marketplace startup Infochimps, one of the most interesting little companies we regularly write about here.Bollacker’s history is intense. He helped build one of the first search engines online for academic research papers, the first prototype for the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine where he was the Technical Director, he was a biomedical research engineer at the Duke University Medical Center, did research on long term digital archiving as the Digital Research Director at the Long Now Foundation and was the Chief Scientist at Metaweb, the massively ambitious semantic web project that Google acquired in the Summer of 2010. Those are some of the weightiest data projects in the Internet’s young history; now he’s joined InfoChimps. “The project that is Infochimps is in it for the long haul,” Bollacker told ReadWriteWeb. “We’re going to make something of lasting value. That’s something I can buy into.”InfoChimps is a small startup that provides infrastructure for people to buy and sell large sets of data. We first wrote in-depth about the company when it made a controversial move of putting 1 billion data points from months of the Twitter firehose up for sale. Twitter’s legal department quickly took the edge off of what the marketplace was able to offer its customers, but its splash was made and the web suddenly knew about InfoChimps.InfoChimps offers a wide variety of types of data, however. Among its most popular sets, the company says, is a complete downloadable set of Major League Baseball data concerning every trade, drafting, free agency and other player transaction since 1873. You can also download the raw survey data used for the Zogby International book What Arabs Think, for $999.00.Revealing the hidden laws and processes underlying societies constitutes the most pressing scientific grand challenge of our century. That may or may not be overstated, but the point is: data is essential in order for us to develop the full extent of self-awareness that science can offer.Who cares about raw data? Data scientists do, of course, but there’s ample reason for the rest of us to as well. Our big picture interest was well articulated by Dr Dirk Helbing of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, who is leading an effort to build what’s being called the Living Earth Simulator (LES), a giant simulation of as many of the earth’s natural and social problems as can be simulated at once. His project is big data analysis taken to one of its most extreme conclusions. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Data Services#news#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… marshall kirkpatrick Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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With new coach beside him, Soriano confident ahead of ONE fight

first_imgCONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ONE CHAMPIONSHIPFilipino MMA fighter Bernard “Burn” Soriano last foray into ONE Championship didn’t end the way he intended.Soriano suffered a first round technical knockout loss to Malaysian Saiful Merican back last Feb. 10 in Kuala Lumpur, and it’s been almost eight months and the Ilocos Sur native has yet to set foot inside the ONE cage.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Read Next MOST READ Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Arellano soldiers on without go-to-guy Salado Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View commentscenter_img Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa “My team is outstanding. I have the best coach in my corner. I also train with the most talented athletes in the region. With that said, I’m motivated and oozing with confidence coming into this bout because I have them behind me.” LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary During that stretch, Soriano chose to train under the guidance of Alliance MMA’s George Castro whom he feels could help him get back to the winning track.“Right now, I have a tremendous support system in my training, especially with the help of my coach George Castro. He knows how to bring out the best in me. With him in my corner, it is always exciting to prepare for a bout,” said Soriano, who olds a professional record of 3-3.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSoriano will be put to the test on Nov. 3 when he faces undefeated Chinese fighter Chen Lei (3-0) in ONE: Hero’s Dream in Myanmar.“I want to win so bad. I have dreams and aspirations as a competitor. In order to turn those into a reality, I have to win first. This is the first step,” said Soriano. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF presidentlast_img read more

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Fat to fit at your doorstep

first_imgIf your New Year resolution was to fight the flab, chances are you have already signed up at the neighbourhood gym. But if you are not too comfortable matching steps with a group or feel awkward discussing your body or your health problems with a male trainer, do not despair.,If your New Year resolution was to fight the flab, chances are you have already signed up at the neighbourhood gym. But if you are not too comfortable matching steps with a group or feel awkward discussing your body or your health problems with a male trainer, do not despair. The city’s top female fitness trainers can take you from fat to fit with tailormade regimes in the privacy of your homes. What’s more, they can also double up as confidantes for your bingeing bouts. So take your pick from kickboxing, yoga and pilates and work out your way to good health and picture perfect bodies.Rashmi Kumar Speciality: Yoga.At: Pocket 52, House no. 126, 2nd floor, C.R. Park.Tel: 9212244220.An expert in Ashtanga yoga, Rashmi Kumar was initially drawn to the science by the poses which she found fascinating. In 1999, after finishing school, she enrolled for a two-year diploma course in yoga at Delhi’s Chandra College and followed it up with an MA in the subject from Jain Vishwa Bharati Institute, Rajasthan. Eight years later, she not only teaches yoga at The Park, the Brazilian embassy and the Jor Bagh Association, she also makes home visits for personal training. “The clients I train personally usually have health problems like cervical pain, diabetes, arthritis and asthma. Through specific asanas and cleansing processes, I help them recuperate faster,” says Kumar. The fitness enthusiast also holds special classes for pre and post natal cases and believes that women are more comfortable discussing their health problems with trainers of the same sex. Incidentally, Kumar also holds workshops for call centre employees suffering from stress and spine-related problems, besides taking groups on three-day yogacum-adventure tours to Rishikesh and Dharamshala.advertisementVesna JacobSpeciality: Pilates.At: 202, Kailash Hills.Tel: 9350026373.One of the hottest names in local fitness circles, Vesna Pericevic Jacob moved to India from Bosnia after marriage three years ago. This athletic lady says she was involved in sports from childhood and used to play basketball at the national level in Bosnia. After a knee injury cut short her sporting career, she got herself an associate degree in fitness coaching from Cantonbridge in England and took to training others. While working as a fitness expert and language consultant for the US Army Peacekeeping Mission in Bosnia in 2000, she met a US Army sergeant who introduced her to pilates. Once she came to India, Vesna began teaching pilates to family friends who in turn recommended her to their acquaintances. Almost overnight, she had a host of people queuing up for lessons. “Most of my private clients come with back problems and I customise their workouts accordingly,” says Vesna, who, interestingly enough, has an equal number of men and women clients. “Most people don’t expect women to know much about fitness. But I build up respect and trust in my male clients with my knowledge and by keeping myself updated with new technology and research related to fitness,” she says. Proof of her success lies in the fact that her male clients trust her with weight training while her female clients say they find it easy to bond with her. But then, Vesna customises her workouts according to gender. “Usually men are encouraged by military regimes, while for women, reasoning works better,” she says, very reasonably.Nirmala Bhanu Speciality: Krav Maga.At: Krav Maga Studio, M-6, Saket.Tel: 41764597.The first woman instructor in India to be certified by the International Krav Maga Federation of Israel, Nirmala Bhanu’s fist packs a lot of punch. Bhanu, who learnt the art from the chief instructor of the Saket-based International Krav Maga Federation Vicky Kapoor, coaches women in kickboxing and Krav Maga. “This martial art includes cardio and stretching exercises, is easy to learn and effective in keeping fit,” says Bhanu, adding, “Compared to about 500 calories burnt at a regular one-hour workout, Krav Maga burns 800 calories.” This trainer from Kullu has an impressive record in self defence, having worked as deputy manager at the Ladies PSO Wing at Vision Security Group and as a martial arts coach for NCC’s No. 1 Air Squadron Kullu. She is also a second degree black belt karate expert and has worked as a fight master with Akshay Kumar and Suniel Shetty.Nisha Varma Speciality: Aqua aerobics and yoga therapy.At: Reebok India Company, Gurgaon.Tel: 9810493313.Nisha Varma, whose workout sessions combine cardio and strength training with pilates and yoga, started out as an advertising professional. But when her husband got posted to Paris, she decided to do something different and got seriously interested in fitness. When she returned to India in 1993, she signed up for a yoga course in Visakhapatnam and later, in 2004, got a Reebok Master Trainer certificate from Paris. Varma has been working as a trainer for 16 years now and handles several clients suffering from orthopaedic problems and muscle weakness, besides women wanting to tone up after childbirth. “My workouts strengthen the abdominal and lower back muscles, and allow people to perform daily chores with fewer chances of injury,” says Varma.advertisementlast_img read more

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3 days agoGenoa confirm appointment of new coach Thiago Motta

first_imgGenoa confirm appointment of new coach Thiago Mottaby Carlos Volcano3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveGenoa have confirmed the appointment of Thiago Motta as new coach.Motta has already taken charge of the first training session.Aurelio Andreazzoli was fired earlier on Tuesday, the Motta announcement was made several hours later.Motta takes charge of a Genoa side who have lost six of their last seven games, resulting in Andreazzoli’s demise.He retired from professional football at the end of 17-18 and spent last season coaching PSG’s Under-19 team. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img

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Second Cup sets its sight on converting some coffee shops into pot

first_imgTORONTO – Second Cup wants to serve up a different kind of buzz by converting some of its coffee shops into cannabis dispensaries and, when legal, pot lounges.Shares in the Canadian restaurant operator rose as much as 31 per cent before closing up 28.73 per cent at $3.54 on Thursday after it announced that it has signed an agreement with marijuana clinic operator National Access Cannabis to develop and operate a network of recreational pot stores.However, neither currently has a licence to sell marijuana, so the deal is contingent on approval from the government, as well as from franchisees and landlords.If and when regulations allow, the two companies also want to open coffee shops for cannabis consumption, said Second Cup’s board chairman Michael Bregman.“(Cannabis) is going to be an awfully big business in Canada, and we have some amazing locations,” he said in an interview Thursday. “I wish I knew now in what form we would be pursuing and participating. We’re just trying to position ourselves so we can participate as the opportunities arise and the legislation is formed.”Second Cup, once a pioneer in the world of upscale coffee, has been struggling to find its place in an increasingly competitive cafe market and has been losing market share to more dominant players, including Starbucks and Tim Hortons, as well as to increasingly popular independent craft purveyors of java. Canada’s second-largest specialty coffee retailer reported adjusted net income of just $110,000 for fiscal 2017.And so, the coffee chain, like many other Canadian companies, is jumping in to grab a piece of the lucrative marijuana market.The companies said in a joint release Thursday that the NAC-branded stores would initially be located across Western Canada, with plans to expand to additional provinces where legally permissible. NAC, which operates a network of marijuana patient advisory clinics, will apply for licenses to dispense cannabis products and work with Second Cup and applicable franchisees to construct stores. NAC has signed marijuana supply agreements with CannaRoyalty Corp. and others.Canada is preparing for the legalization of recreational marijuana later this year, but the distribution model for pot differs widely between provinces.Private operators will be able to sell marijuana, after obtaining the appropriate licenses, in provinces including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. NAC is already among the organizations selected by Manitoba’s government to handle retail sales of recreational pot once legal.Provinces such as Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, however, will sell marijuana in outlets run by the provincial liquor commissions.Retailers, pharmacies and licensed cannabis producers are already positioning themselves for the green rush.Shoppers Drug Mart’s parent company, Loblaw Companies Ltd., has applied for a license to dispense medical marijuana, and has signed supply agreements with pot producers.And in February, licensed producer Aurora Cannabis Inc. signed a $103.5-million deal to buy a minority stake in Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd, which plans to launch a brand of cannabis stores.Meanwhile, many provinces and territories have said they are restricting the consumption of cannabis to privately owned residences but some jurisdictions such as Ontario are soliciting feedback on whether to allow for licensed cannabis consumption lounges.NAC chief executive Mark Goliger said in an interview Thursday that “the minute that that becomes a legal option, we will be first in line.”While the details of those consumption lounges would depend largely on regulations, he described them as “Amsterdam, with Canadian conservativeness attached to it.”“We do feel that cannabis lounges are a logical next step … As most provinces are making it very restrictive as to where people can actually consume in public,” Goliger said.Shares of NAC on the TSX Venture Exchange were up as much as 14 per cent to $1.04 on Thursday after the announcement.Bregman said Second Cup got the idea to branch out into pot after being approached by several cannabis producers. The coffee chain “felt comfortable” with NAC as a partner, and signed a deal on Wednesday night, he added.As well, NAC has issued to Second Cup warrants to purchase 5,000,000 common shares of the company, at an exercise price of 91 cents per share. The warrants expire in April 2023.It’s unclear how many stores — which will be under a new brand developed by NAC, according to Goliger — will be ready by legalization, expected later this year. The companies plan to submit as many as 20 applications for licenses to the Alberta government, and see how many get approved, said Bregman.Conversion of any Second Cup cafes to dispensaries will be conditional on obtaining a license from provincial regulators as well as the approval of the applicable franchisee and landlord. Store ownership will be split 50/50 between the two companies, or the two parties would split the balance if a franchisee is included, he added.Second Cup’s Bregman said the coffee chain’s efforts to revamp are paying off, but it has a long way to go. Second Cup plans to continue expanding its network of coffee shops across Canada as it develops a network of cannabis dispensaries with “compelling” economics, he added.“This is an opportunity where there is plenty of potential upside and no real downside,” said Bregman. “This can’t hurt the company, can’t hurt the franchisees. But can help a lot if things go well.”Companies in this story: (TSX:SCU, TSXV:NAC)Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version erroneously referred to NAC as a private firm.last_img read more

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I am no slouch in white ball cricket Ashwin on ODI exclusion

first_imgMumbai: On a day when country’s seniormost speedster Ishant Sharma spoke about how perceptions affected his chances in ODIs” his Test teammate Ravichandran Ashwin also echoed same sentiments reminding that he is “no slouch with white ball”. Ashwin has not played limited overs cricket since 2017 West Indies tour as selectors and team management felt that wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are better options. To be fair to both Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri, both Kuldep and Chahal have done well. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian Open”I don’t know, it is a perception. I am no slouch. In the white ball format, my records are not bad like what it is perceived to be. It is out of perception that wrist spinners are required in modern one day cricket that I am sitting out,” straight-talking off-spinner said when asked about the challenge of concentrating on one format. He also pointed out that in his last ODI game for the country against the West Indies in North Sound on June 30, 2017 he had returned figures of 3 for 28. Also Read – Fast bowler Behrendorff to undergo spinal surgery”The last ODI I played, I got 3 for 28. I would always look back at my career and I would like to believe it’s not due to my efforts that I am sitting out (but) it is due to the supply and demand that the team requires,” he said. Ashwin is happy with his performance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy where he got seven wickets from six games at a decent economy. “I went and played the Syed Mushtaq Ali (T20 tournament) and I had a decent outing. That’s how I look at it. I am playing cricket and it is not like I need to specialise in one particular format. It is the challenges of the modern day game, I will be looking forward to do whatever I can do best,” explained the 32-year bowler. Ashwin, captain of the Kings XI team in the IPL, spoke to the media after unveiling a unique cricket memorabilia launched by UK-based CricFig International along with Tamil Nadu teammate and Kolkata Knight Riders’ skipper Dinesh Kartik here. On the issue of limiting the workload on India players in the IPL ahead of the World Cup, Ashwin said it’s not easy to look too far ahead and also mentioned that the players knew about how to maintain fitness. “I don’t think as a cricketer you can look far ahead about what needs to be done and how you can manage it. As a cricketer or as a sportsperson, you just concentrate on what happens today. The franchise has invested money on you. Obviously, it is a massive tournament, everybody plays for pride, everybody wants to perform and excel.” However he agreed that the workload factor will always stay at the back of their heads. “It definitely stays at the back of the head because it is being spoken about a lot more right now. I am sure the players are responsible enough and more fitness-aware and be able to handle it than they ever were. “I don’t think going into the tournament people will be thinking about it but as the tournament pans out and the way it goes for each and every franchise and for each and every player, they will take decisions wisely.” But at the same time he said the World Cup was huge and no one wants to miss it. “Probably because of the number of injuries and the amount of premium players that are right now available for the country and how important every spot is. It is a dream for every cricketer to represent his country at the World Cup, it is a big stage. Obviously, bowlers have more chances of succumbing to injuries because of the workload they go through.”last_img read more

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8607 per cent students pass Madhyamik examination

first_imgKolkata: An estimated 86.07 per cent of the 10,50,397 students passed the Madhyamik Pariksha (class 10) board examination in West Bengal, the results of which were announced on Tuesday. Sougata Das of Mahammadpur Deshpran Vidyapith in Purba Midnapore district topped the madhyamik examination securing 694 out of total 700 marks with 99.94 percentage. West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE), president Kalyanmoy Ganguly told a press meet here that this year’s 86.07 pass percentage was the highest in madhyamik examination in recent times. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja Asked if results in other class 10 board examinations prompted the Madhyamik high scores as the topper got 694, the second 691 and the third and four ranked received 689 and 687 marks respectively, Ganguly said “we are not influenced by evaluation of other boards. We are following our own yardsticks. These students deservedly got such marks.” The results are available on the website wbbse.org. Purba Midnapore district registered the highest pass percentage of 96.01 per cent among the districts.last_img read more

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Record 9247 students clear Goa Board Class 10 exam

first_imgPanaji: Class 10 students recorded 92.47 passing percentage in the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board exam this year, the highest in the last five years, Board Chairman Ramkrishna Samant said on Tuesday. “From 83.51 per cent in 2014, the passing percentages have shown a gradual increase over the past five years, with the highest 91.57 pass percentage recorded in 2017,” he added. Girls scored 92.64 passing percentage against 92.31 per cent by the boys. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad Of the 18,684 students who appeared for the exam, 17,287 students passed, with 98 schools achieving 100 per cent results. Congratulating the students who cleared the exam, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said: “It is heartening to note that the overall passing percentage of 92.47 per cent is the highest ever in our state and 98 schools achieved 100 per cent passing results.” The SSC examinations were held in 21 centres across Goa in April.last_img read more

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Jameis Winstons Personal Turnaround and Football Prowess Land Him

Jameis Winston is not a lost cause, after all. Mired in self-induced drama much of his second and final season at Florida State, the former Heisman Trophy winner—thought at one point to be a risk as an NFL high draft pick—has blossomed nicely into the sure-fire No. 1 selection. Turnabout is fair play.This position for Winston is almost stunning, considering he continually, immaturely raised questions about his stability to run a team, which is the last mark any quarterback wants on him. But being accused of sexual assault, stealing crab legs from a grocery store and shouting an obscenity on campus can put you in that dreaded box. Quickly.Amazing thing was that Winston continued to perform at a high level as he and his supporters continually fought off the troubles, including facing expulsion over the sexual assault case. Winston claimed consensual sex and a school investigation found that the accuser tried to extort money, had picked up Winston at a bar and overall did not have a case. The woman, in a telling act, participated in a documentary called “The Hunting Ground” about her experience with Winston.Whatever the case, Winston played on and played well. And as those who looked on after he engaged in one controversy after the next, he always spun it back to being a kid.Well, he has not only been without incident for months, he has shown marked improvement in his judgment, so much so that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers almost assuredly will take him with the No. 1 selection in the upcoming draft.That’s a major leap for a player who looked to be falling off a self-created bridge not that long ago.“I haven’t changed at all,” Winston said on ESPN. “I’ve grown.”Yes, that’s a contradiction, but his point was made.“I’ve grown into the person I am now,” he added, “the young man that I am now. And my actions have to speak [to that]. … At the end of the day, all my mistakes make me a better person. I get to learn from that.”Under scrutiny, what has been learned about Winston is encouraging that he really has become this young man who has learned from past missteps. More than that, he’s as good—or maybe even better—as he played for the Seminoles, and has the leadership qualities to match.At his Pro Day for NFL scouts, Winston was on the field two hours before he was scheduled to throw, mixing it up with teammates and encouraging them. When he did throw, reports are that he was fantastic. And he threw 100 more passes than necessary.As a comparison, Sports Illustrated pointed out that last year, quarterback coach George Whitfield designed a pro day for 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel that featured music by rapper Drake and 64 throws in helmet and shoulder pads.For Winston, Whitfield designed a workout that was devoid of music. Winston threw more than 135 times, including 35 warmup passes. Whitfield and his assistants regularly chased Winston from the pocket, sometimes with tennis rackets or a broom.“It goes to each man’s idea of how he wants to make his statement,” Whitfield said to SI. “That’s how Johnny wanted to make his statement. You go off how they want to make their statement and you try to engineer something functional around it. This is what Jameis wanted to do. Blue collar, no music, high volume [of throws], stress.”And it worked.“He had a great day,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said. “He threw a full nine innings.”The Bucs will not commit on the record to Winston, but the QB has visited the team’s offices and met with the owner. Trust that the team has vetted him through-and-through. “It’s just part of the process,” Licht said. “We’re going to use every minute of time that we have here in the next few weeks to make a decision.”Winston’s decision to grow up has helped him immeasurably. Could he slip up and fall into trouble? Of course, he could. But the feeling is that the falling is over and the only trouble he will be involved in is causing it for NFL teams next year. read more

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Football Ohio State needs Mike Weber to be a toptier running back

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer sees Mike Weber having a larger impact in 2017. Credit: Jacob Myers | Managing EditorCHICAGO — The lack of offense consistently shown in the 2016 season prompted Ohio State coach Urban Meyer to make staff changes. One of the most obvious weaknesses on the offense was the passing game, but that doesn’t leave other offensive players off the hook.As a first-year starter, then-redshirt freshman Mike Weber became only the third freshman running back in program history to rush for more than 1,000 yards. In year two, Meyer said Weber has to take the next step.“I do think he can (be a premier running back), and we need that,” Meyer said. “That’s a must. That’s a must. And it’s time.”Meyer brought in Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson and former San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks coach Ryan Day to co-coordinate the offense and revitalize the passing game after finishing sixth in the Big Ten in passing offense. It was a move that had to be made following 215 total yards in an embarrassing loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.The development of the wide receivers for 2017 is still a major concern, considering the Buckeyes’ top three receivers last season graduated or are in the NFL. But after a successful first season, Weber’s expected contributions to the offense could ease some pressure on the wide receivers.“I don’t think (Weber) was a premier back last year, I thought he was good,” Meyer said. “And (redshirt senior quarterback) J.T. (Barrett) needs him to be a premier back. You want to be a great quarterback, have a premier running back right next to you. Have some premier receivers out there too. It’s time.”The combination of a stellar receiving corps and a running back who could only be stopped by a freight train is part of the formula that turned a young 2014 Ohio State team into national champions.Barrett, the 2016 Big Ten Quarterback of the Year, had his best season as a redshirt freshman in 2014 with a dynamic offensive play-caller in Tom Herman. He also had arguably the best running back in the country in Ezekiel Elliott.Meyer said he believes Wilson and Day coaching the offense will reincarnate that side of the ball into what it was during the 2014 season when the offense averaged nearly 510 yards per game, compared to 460 yards per contest last season.Weber, who scored nine times as a redshirt freshman, doesn’t need to be Elliott, but the shoestring tackles he consistently suffered and quiet games he had against tougher competition can’t happen if Ohio State wants to get over the hump in 2017.Meyer said the Detroit native has already taken steps in workouts and in the locker room.“He didn’t have the breakaway speed. He needs to pick up his feet,” Meyer said. “I want to say he’s lost seven pounds. He’s legitimate fast now. He wasn’t fast. He wasn’t mature. He’s very mature right now. “I’m hoping you guys see a different back. And he was good, but he wasn’t premier.”Running back pictureFreshman running back J.K. Dobbins was the No. 2 running back on the depth chart throughout spring camp as an early-enrollee freshman. Meyer said he’s earned his way onto the field with his play in the spring and continued improvement in offseason workouts.“He’s already proven the fact that he’s going to play,” he said.Meyer listed the running back depth chart as follows: Weber, Dobbins, redshirt sophomore Antonio Williams, sophomore Demario McCall and redshirt junior Parris Campbell, who is projected to start at H-back. read more

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