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The Martin Chronicles

All things sports and beyond.

Fennelly: Gators don't need to hire Chip Kelly

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Chip Kelly is an attractive option on the offensive front, but his baggage should be too much for Florida to seriously consider him.

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All I want to is that if Florida doesn’t get Chip Kelly, do they settle for Greg Schiano?

How badly does Florida want offense?

Chip Kelly might be the test case.

I wouldn’t do it.

There is no doubt that Kelly would bring some fireworks to the Gators’ attack if he was hired as Florida’s next head coach.

Even after two failed attempts in the NFL, it’s easy to remember Kelly’s “blur” offense was something to behold in college football. It changed the game is what it did.

Oregon was a nonstop wonder under Kelly.

The Ducks were an offensive beast.

Kelly and his Ducks to four straight BCS Bowl appearances, including a spot in the National Championship following the 2010 season. Oregon won its first Rose Bowl in 95 years.

It would be quite the Gators spectacular. It would be something Florida fans haven’t seen since Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow had it going. It could challenge Steve Spurrier’s “Fun 'n; Gun.”

Chip Kelly would bring it, in your face.

The problem is that other schools were catching up when Kelly left for the NFL. They were onto his offense and figuring out ways to defend it. What would his new trick be? Does he have one? …

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Warren Sapp says Bucs are mishandling Gerald McCoy

Warren Sapp at his Hall of Fame induction


Warren Sapp at his Hall of Fame induction

Warren Sapp is not coming back to the NFL. He doesn’t think Simeon Rice is, either. But the Bucs Hall of Fame tackle, who with Rice helped underwrite one of the great defenses in NFL history with a menacing pass rush, can’t stomach what he’s seeing.

“I’m a little lost right now,” Sapp said. “This is hard to watch.”

He’s talking about the current Bucs pass rush, which is nonexistent. It goes beyond the fact that the Bucs have a league-low seven sacks. To Sapp, it goes to what he thinks should be the heart of the defense: Bucs perennial Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy.

“If you have a lead dog and if it’s not GMC – that’s what I call Gerald, like a big wide-body GMC – you put the Volkswagens and all the rest of them around him and you allow him to work,” Sapp said.” You’ve got five one-on-ones and you designate Robert Ayers as the one with the one-and-ones? Gerald’s the better player. What are we doing here?

“Wasting isn’t even the word. Gerald has more sacks since he came into the league than any other defensive tackle. Tell me why Robert Ayers, who’s a defensive end, now has the free reign to where he wants to go and you got to get out of his way?” …

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Vasilevskiy leads the way for Lightning

Andrei Vasilevskiy has been the real reason the Lightning are 8-1-1, Martin Fennelly writes.


Andrei Vasilevskiy has been the real reason the Lightning are 8-1-1, Martin Fennelly writes.

Everywhere you turn when it comes to the Lightning these days, you’re talking about something outstanding.

The team leads the NHL with eight wins and 17 points. Captain Steven Stamkos leads the league in scoring with 20 points. Nikita Kucherov leads the league with 11 goals. Both players have at least a point in all 10 Lighting games. The Lightning have the best power play in the league.

And then there is their most important player.

It’s goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, all 23 years of him, has been the real reason the Lightning are 8-1-1.

Vasilevskiy has been in the net for all those wins, leading the league. He has a 2.22 goals against and a .936 save percentage. Ove the last five games, he has allowed just five goals and owns a .970 save percentage. He is there when his team needs him.

Check out his save percentages these last five games: .966, .935, 1.000, .966, .969.

“We’re playing really defensively, guys doing an amazing job in front of me,” Vasilevskiy said. “It’s all about the team. They’re helping me. I’m helping them.”

Vasilevskiy and his team stated slowly that opening weekend in a back-to-back with Florida, which included the Lightning’s only regulation loss. …

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Stamkos not even all the way back, but he's red hot anyway

Steve Stamkos goes for it

Douglas R. Clifford| Times

Steve Stamkos goes for it

He isn’t even all the way back, but he’s red hot anyway.

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos leads the NHL in scoring with 18 points, two ahead of his linemate Nikita Kucherov, and the Lightning look like the best team in the NHL as they play at Carolina tonight.

Stamkos sat at his locker at Amalie Arena last Saturday night after the Lightning steamrolled the Penguins. He scored on a one-timer and set up another three goals. He’s averaging two points per game.

He still hasn’t unleashed as a goal scorer. Of his 18 points, 15 have come on assists. He’s still working his game back to where it once was. But this ain’t bad.

It’s hard to watch Stamkos and not think about everything he and his 27-year-old body have been through. It’s hard not to wonder if he’ll ever completely return to what he once was, one of the brightest young lights in the game.

“It’s been extremely difficult the last year,” Stamkos said. “Every time I’m coming back and think I’ve hit my stride again, something happens. Hopefully it’s done and over with. I’ve worked extremely hard to get where I am and I’m going to continue to work hard because there’s some more left.” …

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Lightning needs to hold onto Sergachev

Mikhail Sergachev has scored his first three NHL goals in his last two NHL games.

AP photo

Mikhail Sergachev has scored his first three NHL goals in his last two NHL games.

Here’s hoping the Lightning holds onto Mikhail Sergachev.

Start the clock on him. Start it right now.

The kid is a keeper.

And he has great timing.

The 19-year-old rookie defenseman has scored his first three NHL goals in his last two NHL games. He has two points in each of his last three NHL games, including a goal and assist in the Lightning’s 7-1 pummeling of the Penguins on Saturday night.

At first, when Sergachev came over in the Jonathan Drouin trade, I wondered what the rush was to get him in the NHL.

Drouin is Montreal’s leading scorer with two goals and five points, but the Canadiens have only won once in eight games.

Sergachev? He has eight points and the Lightning is 7-1-1.

So, what’s the rush in sending him back to juniors?

The Lightning would be crazy to do it.

The 10th game of the season, Tuesday at Carolina, is key. The Lightning, led by GM Steve Yzerman, has to decide before then whether to send Sergachev back to juniors in Windsor or burn one year of his entry-level deal. …

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