Hello everyone! Happy Wednesday and congratulations on making it halfway through the week. With the Olympics over and baseball being the only major sports league in action, I've found myself back on the reality TV show train. Let me know what you guys have been watching during this slow stretch before football comes back so I can add some shows to my queue.
Now to sports.
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📰 What you need to know
1. Breaking down Joe Burrow's biggest challenge at Bengals camp 🏈
The last eight months have not been easy for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. He has been recovering following a season-ending knee surgery that involved repairing a torn ACL and MCL and partially-torn PCL.
The recovery is about more than just physically participating in practice. There's the mental part of it, as well as Burrow getting comfortable in the pocket and being able to take contact. It's been a long road, but the former first overall pick is starting to look more like himself according to our Jason La Canfora.
Burrow was a full-time starter in practice last weekend, completing almost every pass during 11-on-11 work.
- Burrow: "It was a big step. I felt comfortable back there today, and today is the first day that I really felt like that. It's exciting for me to make a step in the right direction. I've just got to stack days now. Today felt great, but tomorrow's gotta be better."
- Bengals head coach Zac Taylor: "He's done everything possible to get himself ready to go, and now it's on us to protect him."
Burrow's confidence in the pocket isn't totally what it used to be, however. He's admitted as much, telling La Canfora "feeling the pocket is something that always came naturally to me. But I kind of lost it … I would say right now it's a mental thing."
The young QB obviously has time to fix that, but not as much time as you'd think. He will likely not see much preseason work, so it is something Burrow will heavily work on in practice -- which is a far cry from even preseason action against other NFL teams.
Injuries like the ones Burrow suffered take time to recover from. Based off of how great he was starting to look before he got hurt, the Bengals are doing the right thing by not rushing him into anything.
2. Overrated, underrated teams in the preseason Coaches Poll 🏈
Are you really for some (college) football?!
Yesterday the preseason Coaches Poll was released, which means we are that much closer to the 2021 season. Alabama took No. 1 (shocking!), with Clemson, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Georgia rounding out the top 5.
CBS Sports' very own Barrett Sallee took a look at what the panel of 65 Division I head coaches came up with and gave his picks for which teams are underrated and overrated.
Here's a quick look at what he came up with:
- Overrated: No. 6 Texas A&M -- The team is breaking in a new quarterback, either Haynes King or Zach Calzada, who haven't played a meaningful snap of FBS football. They are also breaking in four new starters on the offensive line, which makes the No. 6 ranking a bit high
- Overrated: No. 7 Notre Dame -- Their quarterback Ian Book has left and they lost defensive coordinator Clark Lea to Vanderbilt. While some seem to think the Fighting Irish can bounce back from what they lost, Sallee isn't convinced
- Underrated: No. 13 LSU -- Many seem to think LSU will be a disaster next season, but coach Ed Orgeron said he didn't handle defending a national championship well, and has made steps to fix the issues. He fired defensive coordinator Bo Pelini to hire Daronte Jones, and replaced Steve Ensminger with Jake Peetz. Don't sleep on LSU
- Underrated: No. 5 Georgia -- Georgia has a lot of talent this year in all positions and it all stems from quarterback JT Daniels, who now has a full year with the offense under his belt.
For full commentary on these teams, click here.
3. Where will Michael Thomas go if he leaves the Saints? 🏈
New Orleans Saints star Michael Thomas has been a bit cryptic on social media of late, with posts and likes that make it seem like he is not happy with his current team. He's also been open about implying that the Saints are trying to "damage" his reputation.
Pair that with reports that he ignored the Saints' calls for months, and people are starting to wonder if his days in New Orleans are numbered.
This is not something new, as tensions between both sides have been growing for around a year. Last year, Thomas was suspended by the team and it seems things have not been better since. The team has not made it clear they are looking to trade Thomas, but if there was ever a time he was going to change cities, it's likely right now.
Here are some possible landing spots for the wide receiver, along with the quarterback he would be joining if he went to that team:
- Jaguars (Trevor Lawrence)
- Chargers (Justin Herbert)
- Ravens (Lamar Jackson)
- Patriots (Cam Newton/Mac Jones)
- Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes)
- Eagles (Jalen Hurts)
I would love to see Thomas join the Chargers, who have an up-and-coming quarterback in Herbert. The young QB impressed last year, but just didn't have enough pieces around him to put together a significant number of wins. A veteran, big-name player like Thomas could be what their offense needs.
Potential suitors would be betting on Thomas, who had an injury-riddled 2020, staying healthy, but his contract -- a five-year, $96.3M extension signed in 2019 -- shouldn't be a hold-up, considering he's owed zero guaranteed money after 2021.
4. Lionel Messi gets warm welcome in Paris ⚽
It's official: Lionel Messi has joined Paris Saint-Germain. Following his exit from Barcelona, PSG has signed the soccer star to a two-year contract, putting him there through 2023 and possibly further.
The 34-year-old's new team made a video announced on Tuesday as he arrived in Paris.
- Messi: "I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain. Everything about the club matches my football ambitions. I know how talented the squad and the coaching staff are here. I am determined to help build something special for the club and the fans, and I am looking forward to stepping out onto the pitch at the Parc des Princes."
- PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi: "I am delighted that Lionel Messi has chosen to join Paris Saint-Germain and we are proud to welcome him and his family to Paris. He has made no secret of his desire to continue competing at the very highest level and winning trophies, and naturally our ambition as a club is to do the same. The addition of Leo to our world class squad continues a very strategic and successful transfer window for the club. Led by our outstanding coach and his staff, I look forward to the team making history together for our fans all around the world."
Messi is not just changing teams, but changing numbers as well. He will now wear No. 30.
He joins Kylian Mbappe, Marco Verratti and Achraf Hakimi in Paris. They will look to take the Champions League title after the squad lost in the semifinals in 2021 and the final in 2020.
📝 Odds & Ends
- LSU's tiger Mike VII is fully vaccinated against COVID-19
- A look at when Angels star Shohei Ohtani hits free agency and what his salary will be until then
- Errol Spence Jr. is out of his fight against Manny Pacquiao because of an eye injury
📺 What to watch tonight
⚾ Yankees vs. Royals, 2:10 p.m. | KC +100 | TV: MLB.TV
⚾ Tigers vs. Orioles, 7:05 p.m. | BAL -107 | TV: MLB.TV
Best thing I saw on the internet 🏅
We love to see brothers supporting brothers, and it's even more exciting when they are world champions. Giannis, Thanasis and Kostas Antetokounmpo went to MGM Resorts to support their brother Alex in the NBA Summer League on Tuesday.