NBA adds players, media vote to All-Star Game selections

first_imgTaiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson display their All Star Game jerseys on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. APNEW YORK — The NBA is adding players and media to the voting process in a change to the way starters for the All-Star Game are selected.Fans will account for 50 percent of the vote, while all current players and a panel of basketball media will each account for 25 percent.ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: DeMarcus Cousins goes off on reporter for writing about his brother Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports EDITORS’ PICK Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise MOST READ Senators to proceed with review of VFA Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town We are young Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH The NBA has used fan voting to select the starters for its midseason game since the 1974-75 season.Voting begins Sunday during the NBA’s five-game Christmas lineup. Players can each complete one ballot, featuring three frontcourt players and two guards in each conference, and may vote for themselves or teammates.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliFans can submit one ballot each day through, the NBA App, Twitter, Facebook and Google Search, as well as via Sina Weibo and Tencent Microblogs in China.Voting will conclude Jan. 16. The All-Star Game is Feb. 19 in New Orleans.last_img read more

Bundoran Historical Society appeal for information on metal badge found in UK

first_imgBundoran’s Magh Ene Historical Society are looking for your help to find information relating to a Bundoran badge that was recently sent to them.The badge was found in Selby, Yorkshire by a gentleman with a metal detector before he got in touch with Discover Bundoran via Facebook to see if anyone had any information about it.After several unsuccessful appeals, the Historical Society is now appealing to the wider public for information on its origins. The metal badge measures less than 2cm by 2cm and depicts a sailing boat and the word Bundoran.Valentine O’Kelly, Chair of Magh Ene Historical Society, is appealing for anyone that can provide information on the badge to get in touch.She said: “We are extremely grateful to the gentleman for making contact with us and for his generous donation to the Bundoran museum which is located at Bundoran Community Centre.“It’s an unusual item and we are keen to find out more about it, what it was used for and indeed what era it might be from.” If you can provide information on the badge, then you can get in touch via email or by popping into the Community Centre.The badge will be on display in the Bundoran Museum and any information received, as to its origin, will be posted next to it.Bundoran Historical Society appeal for information on metal badge found in UK was last modified: December 8th, 2018 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:bundoranBundoran Magh Ene Historical SocietyBundoran Museumlast_img read more

Higher education ‘not only in universities’

first_img12 January 2012 Amid calls for a more coordinated, flexible and differentiated education system capable of accommodating more of South Africa’s school-leavers, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has reminded the country’s post-matrics of opportunities available outside universities. Higher Education South Africa called on Wednesday for the development of a coordinated, flexible and differentiated post-school education and training system that pulls in the country’s universities, FET institutions, and agricultural, nursing and teacher training colleges. Higher Education SA also pledged its support to any initiative aimed at providing a greater set of study opportunities for school leavers, following an incident on Tuesday where a parent was killed during a stampede by late first-year applicants at the University of Johannesburg.Opportunities ‘beyond universities’ Last week, Nzimande reminded school-leavers of the various options available to them, saying they should consider state Further Education and Training (FET) colleges, where a wide range of in-demand skills were on offer. Nzimande said there were opportunities beyond universities – in learnerships, artisan training and internships, as well as in FET colleges, nursing and agricultural colleges. “Public FET colleges, in particular, offer skills that are in line with the country’s growth and development imperatives,” Nzimande said. “Even as we speak, our economy has a higher and more urgent demand for artisans, technicians, engineers and other scarce skills that can be sourced outside of universities.”Financial assistance at state insitutions Nzimande added that there was financial assistance available for deserving students from poor families through the National Financial Student Aid Scheme. He noted that students attending private higher education institutions did not qualify for government student financial aid. Following Tuesday’s incident at the University of Johannesburg, Nzimande said the government was considering halting the late application practice, and planned to roll out a centralised applications system of the kind already being used in KwaZulu-Natal. Higher Education SA said that, in order to learn from the UJ incident, it would “examine the experiences of its 23 member institutions relating to admissions in 2012 with a view to analysing trends, distilling lessons and facilitating mechanisms through which promising practices could be shared across the university system”. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Advisory Capital Network

first_imgRelated Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… richard macmanus Tags:#Admin#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Bit of admin: Stowe Boyd, Umair Haque and I have set up something called Advisory Capital Network. Stowe explained what it is in his intro post:“…a loose federation of strategists to help Web 2.0 start-ups and established players trying to move into the Web 2.0 arena.I’ll provide more details of my advisory roles in an upcoming post.btw I’m also working on a re-brand and re-design of Read/WriteWeb. Once it’s done, you’ll hopefully see less personal messages like this 😉 Stay tuned for R/WW 2.0 (actually more like 4.0, but whatever…). 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Satellites as a Service: Amazon AWS Pushes the Envelope of Utility Computing to Space

first_imgAmazon AWS brings new meaning to SaaS.  It’s Satellite as a Service, actually named AWS Ground Service.Ground Station attempts to make the world of satellite data capture and processing into a utility service, something that can be easily turned on and off without up-front capital expenditures.  Their target audience are businesses, researchers, governments and space agencies.  The goal is to make the upload and download of data from satellites simpler and cost effective.As part of the new initiative, Amazon has already set up a half dozen ground service locations and plans to bring on another ten early this year.  To date, it had been necessary to build ground locations, often in  multiple geographic locations around the world, to be able to monitor and capture satellite data.  Often, setting up ground stations cost millions of dollars.It’s a great innovative idea.  While given the current progress and success of cloud services, applying the same model to satellite data seems like a straightforward and obvious extension, but no one until now has done it.  It’s likely that once the service is active, it will spawn a new industry of startups, enabling sophisticated apps for tracking, mapping and presenting geospatial data..Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research, said that “To rule real-world application use cases you need to make maps and real-time spatial data available in an easy-to-consume, real-time and affordable way.”last_img read more

With E-Book Ban, Apple’s “Closed” Nature Goes Too Far

first_imgIt’s easy to take jabs at Apple for sometimes being too “closed.” From restrictions on mobile apps to the limited customizability of the iPad, it’s a reputation that the company has earned even as it sells millions upon millions of devices. Even the original Macintosh infamously discouraged tinkerers by requiring specialized tools to physically open it up. While it may frustrate many hobbyists and hackers, this approach is simply a cost of being one of Apple’s millions of otherwise satisfied customers. It’s rare that the company crosses over the line between closed and alarming. But that’s exactly what just happened. The trouble started shortly after Seth Godin submitted his latest e-book to Apple’s iBookstore. The marketing pundit and super-prolific author penned a book titled “Stop Stealing Dreams” and sent the finished copy along to Apple for approval. Much to his shock, the book was rejected. The reason? An email from Apple identified “too many links to Amazon store” as the prime offense. Yes, simply linking to one of Apple’s competitors is a bold and forbidden enough gesture to cause a book to get banned from its digital storefront. As Godin himself outlines on PaidContent, this is pretty disturbing stuff. “What’s inside the book shouldn’t be of concern to a bookstore with a substantial choke on the marketplace,” Godin writes. “If it’s legal, they ought to let people read it if they choose to.” On the iPhone, Apple has certain obligations to the carriers and its own market dominance, which sometimes lead the company to forbid certain features from finding their way onto the iOS platform. In many cases, this is understandable. But this is different from free mobile WiFi tethering or other app features that directly compete with Apple or the carriers. These are books. You know, the things that have historically been banned and burned when the powers that be don’t appreciate their contents. Books contain ideas and information. You know, the stuff that’s supposed to be much more fluid and accessible thanks to technology. Of course, the book-burning analogy has its limitations. Anybody who really wants to read Godin’s book can go get it from Amazon or in another format outside the iBookstore. But there’s something unsettling about a dominant player in a information-centric marketplace such as this refusing to offer a piece of content strictly for competitive reasons. How would we feel if Barnes and Noble refused to carry a book about the history or corporate philosophy of Borders or Amazon? Or if they wouldn’t order a book written by the CEO of a competitor, simply because doing so would inadvertently aid the enemy? Many people would rightly be freaked out by that. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Apple#E-Books#web john paul titlowlast_img read more

Creating a Technical Community at Intel

first_imgOver 500 people on the community email list, with participation from senior managers,  first line managers, project/program managers, analysts, developers, customer support,  infrastructure teams, and business reps.Monthly newsletters with technical and business topics, including featured articles on  external blogs and forums (meetings and the newsletter are the top value areas rated by  community members)A wiki-based knowledge center of technical content about product features, projects,  infrastructures, “tribal knowledge”, etc.11 discussion forums, an online calendar of events, and fully archived meeting and  training materials (including video replays)Weekly video podcasts presenting updates on major program and project statusTechnical and Business related blogs, presented by community leaders and guest  bloggers40+ technical training brown-bags, quarterly “Town  Hall” meetings for the entire community (meeting attendance averages 10% – with many  meetings repeated off-hours to accommodate geographical attendance)Quarterly community health surveys to identify areas of improvement and gather ideas from the groupAll that came from 8-10 different sites across multiple countries, who used to only talk to each other if they happened to be on a project together – and even then, only when time zones overlapped (which in many cases they don’t), or if someone worked early mornings or late evenings.All of that started from no common distribution list, no newsletter, no blog, no consolidated wiki  (only a few scattered pages), no forums, no global community.So here’s how we built it…First, I created a global distribution list. I needed a way to get the word out that we  wanted to build a community, and I wanted a mechanism to have ongoing communications with  whomever wanted to sign up. It’s a voluntary community, and people can opt-in and opt-out  just by sending an email. I scoured some existing distribution lists and org charts, then  came up with my first target audience. They received an email blast from me explaining that  we were creating a community and I wanted them to be a part of it.Out of that initial blast to about 40-50 people, exactly one person declined. Everyone else was ready to go and wanted to sign up right away. The distribution list grew over time – people forwarded it to their friends who were interested, and people even saw posters in the hallway telling them about the community (I was using every communication medium at my disposal from posters, to personal blogs to word of mouth). For about six months, I was getting sign-ups almost every business day.Next it was time to build a “portal”. I wanted a single website that I could send everyone  to that would give them access to all community offerings. This was built on the wiki. I  started to consolidate a bunch of existing material, then created one main jumping page  that listed everything we had to offer. I created a quick and easy to remember URL alias  (using an internal system that does things like tinyurl), and started sending people to the page.After the wiki started, it was time for discussion forums. I selected a few topic areas, created the forums on our internal systems, and added that to the portal page. Pretty soon, people were posting technical and business related questions, and eventually, people started answering. Now, I will tell you that I sometimes have to track people down to answer the questions that sit for a few days without a response. I don’t have to do that too often though, because now people are subscribing to alerts and if they see something new that they want to talk about, they usually do.Four months went by and I thought it might be time to see how the community was doing – in  the form of a “health survey”. So I created a survey of about 10 questions and sent it out  to the list (which was around 200 at the time) – I even offered one lucky respondent the chance to win a $10 gift card. The responses indicated that we were on-track, but could do more. People wanted to see podcasts! So in less than a week, we kicked off our first video podcasts with topics about major program status. The podcast continues, and is produced by two of my peers, and they have enjoyed great feedback on the content and quality. Instant turnaround on the survey.I continued the monthly scheduling and facilitation of technical and business brown-bag discussions, and then kicked off a quarterly Town Hall meeting for the entire community. These meetings gave members an opportunity to hear about community metrics, updates from senior managers about important programs, or other events of interest. The mailing list steadily grew toward 300, and new people began authoring pages in the wiki and participating in forums.Soon it was time for the next health survey (September 2007). This time around, people wanted to see technical blog posts…in less than a week we published the first, and now we have guest bloggers who have stepped up to provide discussions of a more technical nature.That brings us to end of 2007…and we launched the next exciting offering from the  community – the Web Jam. It’s not a group of people getting together to make holiday fruit  puree – it’s a 2 day event, housed in our forum environment, to get people talking about  technology and interacting with each other. With sponsorship from senior management (and  not just sponsorship – committed active participation), we have discussions  that are community driven about any topic they can think of. There are people out there who  question what we’re doing, and we want to hear from them and give people a chance to  respond. We have technical resources who want to gather BKMs from peers in other countries  – so they will start that conversation going.In two days we gathered an insane amount of feedback about what concerns people, what  interests people, and what they want to see next. It’s going to be pretty exciting to see  what happens next (more about the web jam in a subsequent blog post).2008 was a continued flurry of activity, with even more technical brown bags, web jams, project video contests, community logo contests, and more. We built off a wildly successful start into the largest professional networking community at the company, and we’ve still only just begun. In 2009 we’re kicking off a technical mentoring program and a leadership/steering committee. Upward and onward!So that is the story of how one person kicked off a global community, then signed up more  and more people to continue the creation.But it’s never that simple is it?Here’s the big challenge…and I don’t have an answer for you yet on this one… How do you make the move from awareness, to participation. In other words, if you’ve got  thousands of people reading your content every day, how to get those thousand people to  actually reply to, change, or add to your content? How do you get more people to create pages  on a wiki, or add/answer questions in a forum? How do you turn visibility into action?That’s where I’m focusing now. And if it’s a journey you want to hear about – let me know  in the comments!- HeathP.S. if you haven’t already seen this amazing video about social media / communities / Web 2.0, it’s a great introduction to where information exchange is headed… *** This post was originally published in 2007 on the old IT @ Intel blog – I am reposting it for the benefit of this new community site , with some updates to bring it up to date. ***Back at the beginning of 2007, the managers of my organization had a dilemma and they  needed someone to help solve it. Now, I’ve got 13-16 direct reports which is already a full  time job, but their need was something I found pretty interesting, and since I have a  passion for social media it seemed right up my alley.Here was their problem – how could they help a group of developers in another country learn  everything that our US resources knew about an enterprise software we’ve been using for  over a decade? Keep in mind, these US resources had stayed mostly static for the last 10+  years…the people who implemented it are the same people who engineer it today. They have  significant “tribal knowledge”, and are intimately familiar with how we have configured and  modified the software through the years to adapt to changing business needs.But the new teams in other countries did not. Not only were many of them new to the  technology, but they had no idea what we’d done over the last ten years, or why we’d done  it in the first place. So I was chartered to go off and “build a community“…and that’s  what I did.Here’s where we are today, then I’ll tell you how we got there (keeping in mind that we  still have more work to do)…Todaylast_img read more

Rodriguez out of Roma-Milan

first_imgRicardo Rodriguez and Giacomo Bonaventura are out of the Milan squad travelling to Roma for tomorrow evening. It kicks off on Sunday at 17.00 GMT, click here for a match preview. New coach Stefano Pioli was held to a 2-2 draw by Lecce on his debut and has some changes to his squad at the Olimpico. Davide Calabria and Samu Castillejo return from suspension, but full-back Rodriguez pulls out with a muscular issue. Also absent is midfielder Bonaventura, who continues treatment and a separate training regime. Milan squad for Roma: A Donnarumma, G Donnarumma, Reina; Calabria, Conti, Duarte, Gabbia, Theo Hernandez, Musacchio, Romagnoli; Bennacer, Biglia, Calhanoglu, Kessie, Krunic, Paqueta; Borini, Castillejo, Leao, Piatek, Rebic, Suso Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more

Russell Wilson Will Do It Himself Thank You

PICKWIN PROB.PICKWIN PROB.RESULTREADERS’ NET PTS INDIVIDUAL RANKTEAM RANK LAR57LAR69LAR 32, ARI 16+6.7– BAL60BAL51DET 20, BAL 44-11.1– ATL61MIN51MIN 14, ATL 9+10.0– Sources: ESPN Stats & Information Group, Ladbrokes GB63GB59TB 20, GB 26-5.4– When Russell Wilson and J.D. McKissic connected for a 15-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against Philadelphia in Week 13, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback tied the NFL record for the most passing TDs in the fourth quarter in a single season with 15, set by Eli Manning in 2011. The TD pass also sealed a 24-10 victory over the 10-2 Eagles — the Seahawks’ most impressive win of the season. Seattle improved to 8-4 on the year to move back into a playoff position and now owns an 80 percent chance of making the postseason, according to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL projections. Wilson was stellar in the final quarter on Sunday, going 5-8 on his passes with a scorching-hot passer rating of 122.4. It was yet another impressive display by Wilson, whose remarkable fourth-quarter performances have become so frequent, they are almost expected at this point.The Seahawks have based the majority of their success over the past few years on their defense and the “Legion of Boom,” which has been one of the most feared units in recent memory. But as the team continues to deal with major injuries on the defensive side, it’s Wilson and the offense that Seattle has relied on. While Wilson’s performance through the first three quarters has been just OK, his fourth-quarter heroics are among the best in the league. Since Wilson entered the NFL in 2012, only Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have kept up with the Seahawks QB in the final 15 minutes of the game. CHI72%CHI62%SF 15, CHI 14+10.7– NO66NO64CAR 21, NO 31-4.2– Russell WilsonSeattle21123 What’s evident about all the other quarterbacks is that they’ve received some of the best protection from their offensive lines: Every quarterback except for Wilson has received top-10 pass protection.1Percentage of plays the offense controls the line of scrimmage on dropbacks The Seahawks’ offensive line ranks 23rd, meaning Wilson has had to scramble for his life on multiple occasions. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Wilson has attempted 95 passes outside the pocket, which is the most in the league and 31 more than the quarterback with the second most, Blake Bortles.The poor offensive line play also hasn’t helped the Seahawks’ ground game, which is all but nonexistent this season. On the surface, the Seattle rushing attack looks perfectly mediocre with an average yards per rush of 3.90 — good enough for 22nd in the league. But if you isolate the guys who are paid to run (as in, not throw), the Seattle rogues’ gallery of running backs — Chris Carson, Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, someone named Mike Davis — has collectively averaged 3.19 yards per carry. That’s not only the worst in the NFL this season, it ranks 537th among 543 team seasons since 2001.All this means that the burden is completely on Wilson to move the chains and keep his team in the game — making this Wilson’s most important season. The 2013 champion Seahawks were built on Wilson, a stifling defense and the Beast Mode rush attack. Of those things that aren’t Wilson, one is injured and the other plays in Oakland. And yet, Seattle could all but seal its playoff spot with a win in Week 14 over Jacksonville, which would improve its chances of making the postseason to 92 percent,2Independent of other Week 14 games. according to our Elo prediction model. Wilson would also boost his MVP credentials significantly by defeating the Jaguars’ defense, which leads the league in total defensive expected points added. If the Seahawks do prevail and make the playoffs, you won’t need to guess who’s responsible.FiveThirtyEight vs. The ReadersWeek 13 in our NFL predictions game — in which we invite you to outsmart our Elo algorithm — saw the readers suffer three heavy losses that started on Thursday night, by predicting that Washington would beat Dallas. They were wrong and lost 15.7 points in the game. The readers then lost 11.1 points by being less confident than our Elo in Baltimore’s victory over Detroit. And the last of the double-digit losses for the readers came on Sunday night when the Seahawks upset the Eagles, which gave readers a loss of 12.8 points. It wasn’t all doom and gloom, however. The readers gained 10.7 points by being less confident than Elo in the Bears’ chances against the 49ers, and then 10 points in predicting a win for the Vikings on the road against the Falcons.Make sure you get your Week 14 predictions in early, and thanks for playing. PHI52PHI61PHI 10, SEA 24-12.8– OAK71OAK75NYG 17, OAK 24+0.2– TEN66TEN68HOU 13, TEN 24-0.7– Carson WentzPhiladelphia31710 PLAYERTEAM1ST DOWNSOFF. TDSTOTAL YARDSPASS PROTECTION Elo’s dumbest (and smartest) picks of Week 13Average difference between points won by readers and by Elo in Week 13 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction game DAL61WSH53WSH 14, DAL 38-15.7– NE73NE80NE 23, BUF 3+1.2– OUR PREDICTION (ELO)READERS’ PREDICTION JAX75JAX79IND 10, JAX 30+0.1– KC62KC60KC 31, NYJ 38+0.0 MIA57MIA55DEN 9, MIA 35-4.1– Jared GoffL.A. Rams1310105 The scoring system is nonlinear, so readers’ average points don’t necessarily match the number of points that would be given to the average reader prediction. Russell Wilson’s offense transcends the Eagles’ defenseComparing Ladbrokes’ top five MVP candidates Tom BradyNew England1328 Drew BreesNew Orleans111562 LAC89LAC89CLE 10, LAC 19-1.6– PIT66PIT73PIT 23, CIN 20+2.0– In the first three quarters of a game, Wilson’s touchdown to interception ratio is 2.5, according to the ESPN Stats & Information Group. Come the fourth quarter, that ratio balloons to 4.2.The much-deserved hype of Philadelphia sophomore quarterback Carson Wentz and the longevity of New England’s Tom Brady have left Wilson as the forgotten man when it comes to talk of MVP. Wilson may not be having the best statistical season of his career, but after he outdueled Wentz on Sunday, the Seahawks QB earned the right to be at the forefront of the conversation based on how important he is to his team.Of the five players — all quarterbacks — with the best odds of winning the MVP, according to Ladbrokes, Wilson leads the league in total accrued yards — rushing and passing — and total offensive touchdowns responsible for, and he is second only to Brady in the number of first downs he’s been responsible for. Check out our latest NFL predictions. read more

Are We Sure Aaron Rodgers Is Still An Elite Quarterback

15Carson Wentz403392,6687.975.8 29Ryan Tannehill402632,0537.860.0 Rodgers has been inefficient on play-actionPlayers with at least 100 play-action dropbacks and their stats for those plays in the 2015-2018 regular seasons 25Blake Bortles603712,7527.468.1 36Colin Kaepernick191641,1407.053.9 23Jay Cutler342001,5167.669.4 27Marcus Mariota553763,1708.462.5 4Carson Palmer382232,2149.982.1 11Jameis Winston543772,9988.077.6 6Philip Rivers643423,2549.580.7 28Derek Carr623292,2246.861.3 8Matt Ryan645625,2859.480.1 17Patrick Mahomes171531,4019.274.8 10Kirk Cousins644313,8929.078.9 13Matthew Stafford643513,0928.877.0 12Dak Prescott483232,3507.377.1 20Andy Dalton564013,2368.173.1 Rodgers and the Packers managed 1.4 yards per dropback less than league average on a play type that is wildly effective for the vast majority of the league. Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton — a player no evaluator would claim is Rodgers’s equal on the field — was able to squeeze out 2 yards per dropback more than Rodgers on 71 more play-action passes. When Jacoby Brissett, Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler are able to post yards-per-dropback numbers superior to a former Super Bowl winner and league MVP, something unexpectedly terrible has happened.Many have pointed to the lack of creativeness in former coach Mike McCarthy’s play designs, so perhaps we can put some of the blame there. According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Rodgers would routinely change plays he felt were poor calls, and Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report quoted an unnamed source who claimed that Rodgers audibled to a new play up to a third of the time. The same source claims that those audibles netted very poor results for the Packers. Under new Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur, early signs are that the incessant audibling will stop. LaFleur said at the NFL combine in February that packaged plays — not audibles — are a staple of the Kyle Shanahan offense he’s bringing to Green Bay.And perhaps more important to the future success of Rodgers and the Packers is the more aggressive and creative play-action game LaFleur is bringing with him from Tennessee. The Titans averaged 7.3 passing yards per dropback on play-action passes to the Packers’ 6.6 in 2018, and I believe much of the difference between the two teams can be explained by a lack of creativity on the part of the Packers.Two plays versus the Miami Dolphins from last season help to explain the disparity. In Week 10, the Packers would beat the Dolphins 31-12, but Green Bay gave a glimpse into why their play-action game was so underwhelming in 2018.The call was a play-action bootleg in which the quarterback fakes a toss to the running back and then turns and rolls out to the opposite side of the field. Despite Rodgers’s strong arm, McCarthy’s play design calls for just two eligible receivers to run routes into the Dolphins secondary, and no routes are run attacking the void created by the two Miami defenders flowing to the line of scrimmage on the far side of the field chasing the fake. Ultimately, Rodgers checks down to tight end Lance Kendricks for a short gain after finding his deep options covered.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Meanwhile a call from Week 1 by LaFleur against that same Miami Dolphins defense offers an interesting contrast. In a game in which the Titans lost 20-27, LaFleur called a play-action boot, but it featured three receivers attacking downfield, including a very sneaky tight end leak route that took advantage of the Dolphins’ over-aggressiveness defending the run. Despite a poor throw by Marcus Mariota, which caused the receiver to stop his route and wait for the pass, the play was good for 30 yards and set Tennessee up with first-and-goal.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.For Green Bay fans, it isn’t hard to imagine A-Rod putting enough air under the ball on a similar play call to net the Packers a touchdown. It’s this kind of aggressiveness and creativity that landed LaFleur the Green Bay job this offseason and could help Rodgers return to something close to his early career form.At 35, Rodgers is on the downslope of his career — which, in fairness, could last five to eight years more based on recent QB longevity. But either way, the Packers need to provide him with every possible edge if they want to win another Super Bowl and avoid the disconcerting reality that sole possession of the highest-rated quarterback in NFL history secured them only one Lombardi Trophy. A revamp of the hyperefficient play-action passing game seems like a terrific place to begin.CORRECTION (Aug. 15, 2019, 1:10 p.m.): A previous version of this article incorrectly described Aaron Rodgers’s place on the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2019. Rodgers is the fourth-ranked quarterback — behind Drew Brees in addition to Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady — not the third-ranked QB. 22Brian Hoyer201731,3958.169.6 32Aaron Rodgers553302,0006.159.8 9Case Keenum443512,9998.579.4 31Eli Manning634333,2617.559.9 2Tom Brady604504,3649.782.9 Rodgers has particularly fallen short of the rest of the league on intermediate throws. When he threw 11 to 25 yards downfield over the past four seasons, Rodgers completed fewer passes than we’d expect from a league-average QB. Depending on the area of the field, the deviation from expected performance was sometimes alarmingly high. On passes charted as being thrown to the “far left” area of the field between 11 and 20 yards deep, Rodgers completed passes a whopping 17.6 percentage points under expected.Part of this could be explained by the injury and subsequent decline of Rodgers’s former favorite target, Jordy Nelson, who was an outside threat for most of his career in Green Bay. But Rodgers’s struggles haven’t been limited to outside throws: Since 2015 on throws to the middle-left, middle-right and center of the field, at depths from 11 to 25 yards, Rodgers has a completion percentage 1.4 points under expected.3On 163 pass attempts.What’s notable is that — based on work done by Sarah Mallepalle — the deep middle and intermediate middle areas of the field are among the most efficient places to pass the ball, so Rodgers’s poor performance there is particularly curious.One possible explanation for the Packer’s underperformance in the middle of the field is the play-action passing game. Play-action fakes are designed to draw linebackers and safeties toward the line of scrimmage to defend the run, leaving the intermediate middle and deep middle areas of the field open. Play-action passes are also among the most efficient types of plays an NFL team can run, so a lack of success on these plays could help explain Rodgers’s recent deficiencies.When we look at the numbers, it turns out that’s exactly what we find. Since 2015, the Packers rank dead last in the league in yards per dropback on play-action passes. Rodgers started just 55 of those 64 games because of injuries, so it’s only fair to break out his performance separately. But when we look just at games Rodgers started, things don’t get much better. Among quarterbacks in that same span with at least 100 play-action pass attempts, Rodgers ranks last in passing yards per dropback and 32nd out of 41 in Raw QBR, behind the likes of journeymen (Brian Hoyer), much-derided (Derek Carr and Eli Manning) and recently deposed quarterbacks (Blake Bortles and Ryan Tannehill). *Games started.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 26Ben Roethlisberger562251,8988.465.2 5Russell Wilson645314,1867.980.8 Ask most NFL coaches, players or decision makers if Aaron Rodgers is elite, and they’ll probably look at you like you’re either new or slightly inebriated. In the recently revealed NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2019, the league’s players ranked Rodgers as the fourth-best QB in the league, behind Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady, and the eighth-best player overall. Likewise, 53 of 55 coaches and executives polled by The Athletic’s Mike Sando ranked Rodgers as a tier 1 quarterback — results that elevated him over Brady as the most esteemed quarterback in the NFL in the eyes of the league’s decision-makers.Questioning Rodgers’s ability normally borders on football insanity, but in recent seasons, the statistics of the Packers’ quarterback haven’t exactly matched his outsize reputation. So as Rodgers prepares for his 12th season as the Green Bay starter and his first under a new coach, we dare to ponder the unthinkable: Are we sure Aaron Rodgers is still elite?There’s no doubting Rodgers’s excellence early in his career. From 2008 — his first year as a starter — to 2014, Rodgers led the Packers to a 70-33 record1In games he started. and a Super Bowl win while throwing for 8.3 yards per pass attempt and winning two MVP awards. Over that same period, Rodgers passed for 225 touchdowns, good for a TD rate of 6.6 percent.Since 2015, however, the Packers have gone a cumulative 30-24-1 with Rodgers under center, and the QB hasn’t been as sharp as he once was. Over the past four years, Rodgers’s yards per passing attempt dropped more than a yard from his previous career average to 7.1,2League average from 2015 to 2018 was 6.8 yards per passing attempt. and his TD rate fell a percentage point to 5.6 percent. Perhaps more worrying, there are important areas of the field where Rodgers isn’t simply no longer excellent — he’s actually worse than league average.I looked at all passes charted with a direction that Rodgers has thrown since 2015, as recorded by ESPN Stats & Information Group, and compared his passes with a direction given to the league average in the same area of the field: 37Trevor Siemian241771,1806.752.1 19Ryan Fitzpatrick372231,8568.374.3 34Cam Newton604322,9656.957.2 24Jared Goff383362,9798.968.8 playerG*DropbacksYardsYards per dropbackQBR 40Joe Flacco514102,8667.040.5 16Nick Foles201531,2438.175.5 1Deshaun Watson222111,8518.886.2 38Josh McCown271411,0127.251.2 30Alex Smith563012,2757.660.0 18Tyrod Taylor452972,3017.774.6 3Drew Brees623923,1378.082.1 35Mitchell Trubisky261581,0696.857.0 21Sam Bradford342292,2199.771.7 7Andrew Luck382862,5598.980.6 33Teddy Bridgewater171329597.358.0 39Jacoby Brissett171227696.345.0 41Brock Osweiler302001,3566.837.9 14Blaine Gabbert211451,0397.276.8 read more