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Friday, January 18, 2019

Chargers GM Telesco has no timetable on Rivers deal AP

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Chargers GM Telesco has no timetable on
Rivers deal AP

He’s going to be here. We’ll talk at the right point as far as the moves we need to make in the offseason and the resources we have and kind of see how it all fits in,” Telesco said.
Rivers is coming off one of his best seasons. His 105.5 passer rating equaled a career best and his 8.5 yards per attempt was his best since 2010. His 68.3 percent completion rate also ranked as the second best of his career.
Rivers said Monday that he hasn’t discussed his future plans with the team, but noted he wants to play at least through 2020, when the new LA Stadium at Hollywood Park opens. A possible model that both sides could look at is the two-year, $50 million contract that Drew Brees signed with New Orleans last March.
“We’ll see what happens but that is something that excites me and that I want to be a part of it,” he said.
Telesco didn’t rule out the possibility of drafting a quarterback this year, but also said that it would have to line up with the team’s other needs.
Telesco’s more immediate goals are trying to keep most of the 14 players who are slated to become unrestricted free agents. At the top of the list is safety Adrian Phillips, who earned All-Pro honors on special teams. Phillips was third on the team in tackles (77) and led the league in special teams stops with 21.
The Chargers cut and re-signed Phillips eight times during the 2014 and ’15 seasons before he finally made it for good.
“Eight times he came into my office to let him go and he always handled it professionally,” Telesco said. “To see a player finally earn a job on 53, then earn a role, then a starting role, and then being an excellent special teamer and defense and then go to the Pro Bowl. He’s kind of the heart and soul of the defense, too.”
Other notable free agents include cornerback Jason Verrett, who missed the season with an Achilles injury, wide receiver Tyrell Williams and defensive tackle Damion Square. Williams averaged 15.9 yards on 41 receptions with five touchdowns while Square played all four spots on the defensive line while posting three sacks.
“We like to draft, develop and re-sign our own and then are very selective in free agency. We like to retain our own, I think we have a good core here,” Telesco said.
Telesco said he likes the steps the franchise has taken the past two years under coach Anthony Lynn. The Chargers have gone from five wins in 2016 to 12 regular-season victories this season and a postseason berth for the first time in five years. Los Angeles defeated Baltimore in the wild-card round but lost 41-28 to New England in the divisional playoffs.
“This is not a one-step process. This is a multi-step process to where we want to go. We took some significant steps this year,” Telesco said. “We had a very good football team but we played a better football team in New England at New England. We’ve got to figure out how to get past that hump next year.”
“He’s going to be here. We’ll talk at the right point as far as the moves we need to make in the offseason and the resources we have and kind of see how it all fits in,” Telesco said.
Rivers is coming off one of his best seasons. His 105.5 passer rating equaled a career best and his 8.5 yards per attempt was his best since 2010. His 68.3 percent completion rate also ranked as the second best of his career.
Rivers said Monday that he hasn’t discussed his future plans with the team, but noted he wants to play at least through 2020, when the new LA Stadium at Hollywood Park opens. A possible model that both sides could look at is the two-year, $50 million contract that Drew Brees signed with New Orleans last March.
“We’ll see what happens but that is something that excites me and that I want to be a part of it,” he said.
Telesco didn’t rule out the possibility of drafting a quarterback this year, but also said that it would have to line up with the team’s other needs.
Telesco’s more immediate goals are trying to keep most of the 14 players who are slated to become unrestricted free agents. At the top of the list is safety Adrian Phillips, who earned All-Pro honors on special teams. Phillips was third on the team in tackles (77) and led the league in special teams stops with 21.
The Chargers cut and re-signed Phillips eight times during the 2014 and ’15 seasons before he finally made it for good.
“Eight times he came into my office to let him go and he always handled it professionally,” Telesco said. “To see a player finally earn a job on 53, then earn a role, then a starting role, and then being an excellent special teamer and defense and then go to the Pro Bowl. He’s kind of the heart and soul of the defense, too.”
Other notable free agents include cornerback Jason Verrett, who missed the season with an Achilles injury, wide receiver Tyrell Williams and defensive tackle Damion Square. Williams averaged 15.9 yards on 41 receptions with five touchdowns while Square played all four spots on the defensive line while posting three sacks.
“We like to draft, develop and re-sign our own and then are very selective in free agency. We like to retain our own, I think we have a good core here,” Telesco said.
Telesco said he likes the steps the franchise has taken the past two years under coach Anthony Lynn. The Chargers have gone from five wins in 2016 to 12 regular-season victories this season and a postseason berth for the first time in five years. Los Angeles defeated Baltimore in the wild-card round but lost 41-28 to New England in the divisional playoffs.
“This is not a one-step process. This is a multi-step process to where we want to go. We took some significant steps this year,” Telesco said. “We had a very good football team but we played a better football team in New England at New England. We’ve got to figure out how to get past that hump next year.”
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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Pats’ Brady, Chiefs’ Mahomes achieve success different ways AP

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Pats’ Brady, Chiefs’ Mahomes achieve
success different ways AP

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — One of them is a sixth-round pick who married a supermodel, became one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history and is still going strong well past his 41st birthday.
The other is a first-round pick who is still dating his high school sweetheart, has exactly one season as an NFL starter on his resume and just turned 23 earlier this season.
Indeed, few similarities exist when it comes to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Chiefs counterpart Patrick Mahomes, whose teams will meet for the AFC title at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

Brady is the suave star with the polished skillset and more postseason experience than any QB in history, while Mahomes is the sling-it-anywhere standout who just one day may take over the mantle as best in the game.
Both get the job done, even if they do it in very different ways.
“I don’t know about comparisons,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “Look, Mahomes is an outstanding player in every facet of the game. He’s got a strong arm. He can throw the ball the length of the field. He has great touch. He has the ability to read coverages and extend plays, make good decisions and make explosive plays without taking too much of a risk or putting his team in jeopardy.
“He does all of those things well,” Belichick said, “and that’s a credit to him.”
Brady has a strong arm, too, even if it’s not what it once was. He still has great touch and his ability to read coverages may be the best in the game, helping him lead the Patriots to their eighth consecutive AFC title game.
But that is just about where the similarities end.
Brady prefers to stand in the pocket and deliver the ball the same way a blackjack dealer stands behind his table and distributes cards. He moves around when he’s under pressure but rarely takes off running, and he’s as likely to chuck the ball into the third row on a broken play as take a risk downfield.
It’s an approach that has served him well. Brady’s never thrown more than 14 picks in a season.
He also has one of the fastest releases in the NFL, and Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston said Wednesday that getting Brady in third-and-long is perhaps the most crucial point in stopping him.
“Because if it’s third-and-short,” Houston said, “the ball’s coming out fast.”
More valuable than Brady’s physical ability, though, may be his mental acuity. He has an uncanny gift for dissecting a defense, finding the right matchup and exploiting it to the Patriots’ benefit.
“I haven’t seen any decline,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “He sees things even better than when he was younger. I’m wearing glasses and he isn’t. The age hasn’t hit him. He’s just an amazing guy.”
Then again, so is the kid with the moppy Mohawk standing across from him Sunday.
Mahomes matched Brady’s best season by throwing 50 touchdown passes as the Chiefs’ first-year starter, and he eclipsed 5,000 yards though the air, something his counterpart has accomplished just once.
But perhaps most importantly, he led the Chiefs to a better record than the Patriots to secure home-field advantage, and that means Mahomes will have 80,000 fans behind him with a shot at the Super Bowl on the line.
He’s given them plenty of thrills already this season.
Unlike Brady, Mahomes thrives when everything collapses around him. He’ll throw caution to the wind and run for a first down — or a touchdown as he did last week against Indianapolis — but is just as dangerous in the passing game, where his knack for keeping his eyes downfield makes him a constant threat.
“The play is never dead. He can find new ways to get you the ball,” Chiefs tight end Travis Kelcesaid. “It may look like a screwball, a slider here or there, but it’ll get to you eventually.”
It’s edge-of-your seat viewing, unless you’re on defense.
“I mean, on film you see him not even looking where he’s throwing,” Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower marveled, “and he’s able to hit it, too. He’s a very accurate quarterback.”
And his arm strength is the stuff of legends.
“His skillset alone is (unique),” Hightower said. “He’s not as crafty as Aaron Rodgers, but Aaron does a great job, as well, as far as extending plays and not looking to run, but looking to get guys uncovered or moving with their eyes. There’s not a lot of quarterbacks that have that in their skillset.”
There’s another skill that Brady and Mahomes share, and it’s one that might be rather unexpected given the vast difference in age and experience: leadership ability.
Brady has developed it through success. Mahomes has established it with his demeanor.
Different approaches, similar results.
“We play against great players every week. They come in different shapes and sizes and different skillsets, but they’re all good in their own way. They all can create problems for us or the opponent, us in this case,” Belichick said. “Again, we’ll do the best we can this week to try to defend what we can defend.”


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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Why Kyler Murray is set to forfeit a $4.6m MLB bonus and join the NFL

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Why Kyler Murray is set to forfeit a $4.6m MLB bonus and join the NFL


So this is what a college athlete with real leverage looks like. Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray has done a masterful job pitting two sporting giants, Major League Baseballand the National Football League, against each other.
Let’s rewind for a moment to explain what’s happened. Murray was a brilliant two-sport athlete in high school, which is little surprise given that his father was once a star quarterback at Texas A&M and his uncle played professionally for the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs. Murray started off his college career playing both sports, but the Oakland A’s were excited enough by his talent that they picked Murray in the 2018 first-year player draft and signed him to a deal that guaranteed the outfielder $4.6m. This despite the fact that Murray was still playing football.
The rest, as they say, is history. Murray, who had been a fringe college football player prior to the 2018 season, strolled into the Sooner’s QB-friendly offense and exploded. Murray threw for 4,361 yards, ran for another 1,001 and accounted for 54 total touchdowns (42 passing, 12 rushing), leading Oklahoma to the College Football Playoff. He capped the year off by winning the Heisman Trophy, the sport’s most prestigious individual honor.
Suddenly the decision became a bit more difficult: football or baseball? On Monday, Murray revealed his choice with a simple tweet:
But that’s not the end of the discussion. Monday was the deadline for Murray to declare himself eligible for April’s NFL draft, not the fail-safe point before his final decision. He hasn’t signed a deal with an NFL team, and could still report for spring training with the A’s at the end of February. If he does choose football, he will forfeit his $4.6m bonus with the A’s.

The dynamics of long-term quarterback deals are changing, too. Many NFL contracts sound huge but much of the money is not guaranteed. That paradigm appears to be shifting. Kirk Cousins’ agent made sure the $90m contract his client signed with the Vikings last offseason was wholly guaranteed. Aaron Rodgers worked out a similar deal in which close to $100m of his new deal is non-refundable.
Off the field, football has the edge, too.Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees all earn more money in endorsements than they do from their NFL salaries. To reach that level of fame in MLB, and therefore command that kind of money, is a long, arduous road. After all, baseball has failed spectacularly to market Mike Trout, arguably the most gifted player in the game’s rich history.
Last year a market research firm told the Washington Post that only 22% of Americans know who Trout is. Only LeBron James, Lionel Messi and Aaron Rodgers compare to Trout on the field: all-time greats doing all-time great things in the social media age. But according to the Post report, Trout’s recognition level was equal with NBA bench player Kenneth Faried. Only one baseball player ranks in the 100 most followed athletes on Twitter: Tim Tebow, a former college football star, whose baseball career is stuck in the New York Mets’ minor-league system.
There’s a slight chance the financial discrepancy won’t be so great if Murray does choose baseball. ESPN reported on Sunday that MLB had given the A’s approval to offer Murray a major league deal with significant guaranteed money – Murray wants $15m – in an effort to convince him to stick to baseball. MLB rules prevent teams from signing players right out of the draft to major league deals, but Murray’s situation is considered unique given his post-draft success and national relevancy.

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Saints’ Ingram cherishing playoff run as uncertainty looms AP

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Saints’ Ingram cherishing playoff run as uncertainty looms

METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Mark Ingram readily acknowledges that his last game with the Saints could come Sunday, when New Orleans hosts the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC championship game.
But Ingram hasn’t given up on bucking conventional wisdom and remaining with New Orleans, even though his contract is expiring and the Saints will have to worry about signing younger, more productive running back Alvin Kamara to his second NFL contract in the next couple of years.
Combined, Ingram and Kamara give the Saints one of the most formidable backfield tandems in the NFL — and an answer to the Rams duo of Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson, which battered Dallas’ defense to the tune of more than 200 yards rushing last Saturday night.
It is a formula that can potentially extend the life of a rusher’s career and promote winning — two things at the top of mind for Ingram, who has become a veteran locker room leader while trying throughout his eight-year career to help get the Saints as far as they’ve gotten this season.
“We’ve got a good squad. I feel like we can do this type of thing for many more years,” Ingram said. “I’m not looking just to bail out of New Orleans.”
The 29-year-old Ingram, a 2009 Heisman Trophy winner with Alabama and first-round draft pick in 2011, had far from his best season, statistically speaking, in 2018. He had to sit out the first four games because of an NFL suspension stemming from the use of a banned substance.
During the Saints’ last 12 games, he rushed for 645 yards and six TDs, surpassing 100 yards in a game twice this season. He also caught 21 passes for 170 yards and one TD.
Such numbers represent a considerable decline from the previous two seasons, during which Ingram eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing in each.
Yet coaches and teammates are quick to paint Ingram as one of those players whose impact goes beyond his own raw stats. They rave about his work ethic, leadership, loyalty and contagious, overt passion for the game and his team.
“He’s a great teammate. He cares,” Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. said, adding that it’s apparent Ingram’s teammates “respect his game, how he plays, how he goes out and gives effort.
“He’s always bringing his best,” Carmichael continued. “He just has a great relationship with so many guys.”
Kamara has said Ingram’s presence “frees me up” when they are in the same formation and asserts that they always have exhibited “a genuine care and support for each other,” even though they are technically competing for opportunities to have the ball.
“We look at it like, as long as we both know what we need to do, the team will be successful,” Kamara said.
Coach Sean Payton has extolled the value having both rushers available to help reduce the physical burden on each of them.
Ingram and Kamara together “has been pretty good for us,” Payton said. “It is much more difficult if you are limited to just one of those players.”
Ingram’s first few seasons in New Orleans were marred by injuries and unmet expectations. But in recent years, Ingram has become a fan favorite, and now sounds as if he struggles with the notion of playing elsewhere.
“I was drafted here. I met my wife here, my children were born here,” Ingram said. “Very rarely does anybody get to spend their career in one place. So, I love New Orleans. I love this team. I love this organization.
“I’ve had encouragement and support from so many people in this organization, so I just think of all those people who have helped me when people have counted me out,” Ingram added. “It’s a lot of people in this building who have helped me get to this point.”
Yet Ingram grew up keenly aware of the business side of the NFL. His father, Mark Ingram Sr., was an NFL receiver with four teams: The New York GiantsMiami DolphinsPhiladelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers.
“We’ll see what happens,” Ingram said, resigned to his uncertain future. “I hope we win a Super Bowl and hopefully everything works out.”
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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Saints defense optimistic it can hold up without Rankins

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Saints defense optimistic it can hold up without Rankins



METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Saints third-year defensive tackle David Onyemata plans to spend Tuesday — the players’ usual day off — performing some extra conditioning work at club headquarters.
He is among a trio of defensive linemen likely headed for more snaps against one of the best offenses in the NFL with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
Sheldon Rankins, the Saints’ most productive interior defensive lineman, won’t play in the NFC title game against the Los Angeles Rams — or any other game this season — after tearing his Achilles in the first quarter of Sunday’s playoff victory over Philadelphia 
They played great,” Saints linebacker A.J. Klein said after studying game video on Monday. “Our D-line group is very deep. We have the guys in that room to pick up the slack.”
Yet Klein acknowledged there’s quite a bit of slack to pick up.
Rankins was New Orleans’ first-round draft choice in 2016 and his eight sacks this season ranked second on the club behind end Cameron Jordan.
“He’s a dynamic player on the inside,” Klein said, adding that Rankins is a rare player in the NFL who can be “stout against the run and hold off double teams, but to also be dynamic in the pass rush game.”
“His presence on third-down pass rush and stuff will be missed, but I know we have the depth in our defensive line room to get the job done,” Klein added.
Onyemata said New Orleans’ defensive front also will miss Rankins’ leadership on the field.
“When Sheldon is out there, we have more of an understanding of making the adjustments and all that, just moving around on defense,” Onyemata said.
Yet Onyemata asserted that the confidence among the remaining interior linemen has been growing all season and was only helped by how they played without Rankins against the Eagles.
“We’ve been playing pretty good the past couple weeks, having the guys step up and take more of a bigger role,” Onyemata said.
But now comes arguably their toughest test against a Rams tandem of Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson that combined for 238 yards rushing in a victory over Dallas on Saturday night — hence Onyemata’s extra conditioning work, as well as mental preparation.
“If you go with a three-man rotation inside, you might have to do extra conditioning and just get your mind ready for more plays and expect more things,” Onyemata said.
The Saints finished the season ranked second in the NFL against the run. Even with Rankins out most of Sunday, they allowed the Eagles just 49 yards rushing.
Meanwhile, coach Sean Payton sounded pleased with the amount of pressure New Orleans’ defense applied on Foles, even though Foles was not sacked. Foles is known as a poised and savvy veteran who unloads the ball quickly, so the key against him is unsettling him enough to effect his accuracy.
“We made some adjustments. I thought we were able to pressure the quarterback,” Payton said. “We did not get the sacks you are looking for but we did get the pocket pushed and I thought that really helped and guys on the back end made some plays.”
They also will need to get pressure on Rams quarterback Jared Goff, who completed nearly 65 percent of his passes for 293 yards per game this season.
The last time the Saints hosted the Rams in early November, they gave up 35 points, but won because Drew Brees and Co. put up 45 .
“It was a shootout. It was back and forth all game long,” Klein said. “I thought we played the run well the first time we played them. That’s going to be challenge again this week. But I think being good on the play-action pass and eliminating deep shots over top will be crucial for us.”
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Oklahoma's Kyler Murray Declares for 2019 NFL Draft Amid Talks with Athletics

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Oklahoma's Kyler Murray Declares for 2019 NFL Draft Amid Talks with Athletics




Kyler Murray announced Monday he will enter the 2019 NFL draft ahead of Monday's deadline amid discussions about a potential future in professional baseball in the Oakland Athletics organization.  

Murray made the announcement a day after he met with Athletics president Billy Beane and others as they hoped to keep the former Oklahoma quarterback in the fold, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Adam Schefter of ESPN noted that Murray can still play baseball, but is "determined to play football."

The 21-year-old took over as the starting quarterback for the Sooners' football team in 2018 after Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfi
While Murray had big shoes to fill, the Oklahoma offense didn't miss a beat, as he racked up 4,361 passing yards, 42 passing touchdowns and seven interceptions, while rushing for 1,001 yards and 12 more scores.
Murray won the Heisman Trophy for his efforts and led the Sooners to a 12-2 record that included a Big 12 title.
He also took Oklahoma to the College Football Playoff, but it fell to Alabama 45-34 in the semifinal.
Murray originally committed to play both football and baseball at Texas A&M before transferring to Oklahoma in 2015.
After hitting just .122 in his first season with the Sooners, he broke out in a big way during the 2018 season, as he played a strong center field and finished with a .296 batting average, 10 home runs, 47 RBI and 10 stolen bases.
That led to the A's selecting Murray with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 MLB draft. 
The Athletics and Murray agreed to a deal that paid him a $4.66 million signing bonus, and the A's also gave him their blessing to play one season as Oklahoma's starting quarterback.
By announcing his intention to enter the NFL draft, Murray's pro baseball career with the Athletics may now be in jeopardy.
There is no indication regarding whether he intends to play both football and baseball, but doing so could prove difficult.
Given the success he enjoyed at Oklahoma in 2018, Murray could be in line to be a first-round pick and possibly the first quarterback taken in the 2019 draft.
Murray will likely vie with Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins for that honor, and the potential to be a starting NFL quarterback out of the gates may have been enough to convince Murray to avoid working his way up through the Athletics' minor league system.

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Monday, January 14, 2019

The most unfair duo in NFL history strikes again as the New England Patriots book spot in AFC Championship game

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The most unfair duo in NFL history strikes again as the New England Patriots book spot in AFC Championship game


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? Why do we ever doubt them

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady remain an unfair proposition coming off a bye week, picking apart an elite Los Angeles Chargers team in a dominant 41-28 win — which wasn’t as close as the score might suggest — to book a spot in their eighth straight AFC Championship game.
While Belichick and Brady, who are now 28-10 in the postseason together, are considered major advantages heading into almost every match-up, the Chargers, on paper and form, had the roster to trouble the Patriots.
Or so it seemed.

The pressure we thought the likes of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa would bring simply never got there; Phillip Rivers the quarterback forced to throw with big bodies coming at him.
And while the dangerous Los Angeles running back duo of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler were shut down, Pats rookie Sony Michel, James White, and Rex Burkhead were breezing through massive gaps created by a dominant offensive line.
New England’s physical domination allowed Brady, who threw for 343 yards and a touchdown, to stay untouched; the 41-year-old shining in an almost surgical performance.
The game was essentially over at half-time. It was a 35-7 scoreline at the break after the Patriots tallied 199 more yards and 18 more first downs than the underperforming Chargers, who had one first half turnover — a Desmond King fumble that led to a New England touchdown.
The Los Angeles defensive scheme that worked so well against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens was exposed by Belichik; the Patriots pounding the ball and using underneath routes.
Michel racked up 129 rushing yards and three touchdowns, Burkhead had one, while Phillip Dorsett was found by Brady for a 15-yard TD in the first quarter.
Julian Edelman turned 13 targets into nine receptions and 151 yards.

Keenan Allen broke free for a 43-yard touchdown early on, while Gordon, who had just 15 rushing yards on the day, got into the end zone at the end of the third quarter. Rivers found Virgil Green and Antonio Gates for touchdowns in the fourth, once the game was already out of reach.
Rivers, who has still never beaten Brady in eight attempts, finished with 331 passing yards, three touchdowns, and an interception.
The Patriots’ second half showing was quiet — just the two field goals — but that’s all they needed; mistake-free football ensuring the Chargers never sniffed a comeback.
Belichick’s men will go into Arrowhead Stadium next week on Monday, January 21 (AEDT), to face the high-flying Kansas City Chiefs for a spot in the Super Bowl.
“It’s going to be a good game,” Brady said of the Chiefs match-up.
“They’re a good team. We played them earlier this year. I know everybody thinks we suck and, you know, we can’t win any games, so we’ll see. It’ll be fun.”
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Approaching 22 years, Tiffany's Pizza and Greek Cuisine still cooking in Las Cruces

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Approaching 22 years, Tiffany's Pizza and Greek Cuisine still cooking in Las Cruces


LAS CRUCES - As Barbara Rammos cut strips of meat from a vertical rotisserie and prepared a gyro plate, she moved unhurriedly, chatting about her daughters and granddaughters, almost as if she were in her kitchen at home. 
During business hours, the kitchen tends to be too busy for casual conversation, but half an hour before opening on a Wednesday afternoon, with the prep area ready and the grills hot, Rammos took her time.
"I've been cooking since I was 7 years old," she said. "The way you’re raised in Greece, especially if you’re a girl, you have to be right next to mama."
The restaurant, Tiffany's Pizza and Greek Cuisine, is named for her own first daughter. For 22 years, Rammos and her husband, Anastasios, have been mainstays of the Telshor Tower Plaza across the boulevard from the Mesilla Valley Mall. 
Since opening in 1997, Las Cruces has expanded around them, but Rammos said the menu and portion sizes have largely remained unchanged. Although the restaurant is tucked uphill and not easily visible from Telshor Boulevard, Rammos said that Tiffany's quickly found a following that has remained consistent for two decades. 

"In the beginning it was kind of hard," she admitted. "It’s very hard for us little mamas and papas to make it.”
Offering something unique in the neighborhood has certainly helped. For Mediterranean food, Las Cruces offers three prominent options, all in different areas of town: International Delights on El Paseo; Santorini on University Avenue by the New Mexico State University campus, and Tiffany's, which sits near the mall, a hotel, Interstate 25 and all the commerce by Telshor Boulevard and Lohman Avenue. 
Besides that, Rammos attributed Tiffany's success to "hard work, good food, a good environment. We treat our customers like family. I have customers that have been with us from day one."
Rammos immigrated to the United States 36 years ago at the age of 17, after growing up in a small community outside of Athens, Greece. She had been working as a business accountant in El Paso while her husband worked in the restaurant and construction industries. When he decided to open his own restaurant, she made the leap with him and before long they opened Tiffany's soon after moving to Las Cruces 


After early word of mouth brought diners into the plaza and up the slope to where the restaurant sits, Rammos said business has remained steady since 1997. While their business is listed for sale, they have no plans to close before they find the right buyer. 
"At the end of the road, we're very proud of what we've done together," she said, but acknowledged that keeping a restaurant afloat is a difficult enterprise. "Running it with your husband or wife, it’s even worse. I’m surprised we lasted."
Yet there was little indication of fatigue or a slowed pace, and Barbara Rammos said that even if Tiffany's finds a new owner, "I will not retire. I will take a long break and then see what I’ll do."
At that point, Anastasios returned from a supply run just in time for Tiffany's to open its doors for a new day.
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