Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, with all due respect to local football fans following the Rams' Super Bowl defeat, thinks his team has some similarities to the NFL champion New England Patriots.,"I think early on they were facing a ton of adversity," Pelinka said on a conference call with reporters Friday to discuss his team's NBA trade deadline deals.,The Clippers' deal opened a roster spot, and Pelinka said the team is evaluating "a handful" of players to fill it -- either now or closer to the March 1 deadline to add a player and have him be playoff eligible.,Continuing the Patriots' parallel, Pelinka compared Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman to the players the Lakers added, noting how New England found its rhythm after the slot receiver returned from a four-game suspension, much the same way he hopes the Lakers find their stride now.,Pelinka confirmed a Los Angeles Times report that detailed Johnson's plan to meet the team in Philadelphia -- Pelinka said Johnson is attending a reunion celebrating Michigan State's 1979 NCAA championship as he makes his way west to east.

Without McCoy, who transferred to Texas after he was enrolled in classes for less than three weeks, USC does not have a five-star in the fold for its recruiting class for the first time since 2000, when recruiting services began ranking the top high school players.,Over more recent years, the Trojans have faced more difficulty reeling in five-star talent, largely the prospects from outside California, at times leaving them over-reliant on top players from their own backyard.,The Trojans finished 5-7 last year, their first losing season since 2000, prompting calls from fans for Helton to be fired following his third full season before the embattled coach was retained by Athletic Director Lynn Swann.,But even in the initial seasons under Helton, while the Trojans made consecutive New Year’s Six bowl games, they were unable to pluck five-star recruits from other regions of the country and poach prospects from other blue-blood schools that have had a better recent track record of producing NFL draft picks, especially among offensive linemen.,Gorney and other analysts reasoned that the Trojans have had enough talent in recent seasons to contend for Pac-12 championships, and they won the conference crown in their second season under Helton in 2017.

The traditional signing day Wednesday merely padded Oregon's already stellar recruiting class, the best in school history.,GETTING DEFENSIVE: Washington capped its recruiting class by landing two of the top defensive players on the West Coast.,Washington had seemed to be the favorite for Heimuli for most of the recruiting period, but his Menlo-Atherton team advancing to the state title game in California impacted his ability to make a decision in time for the December signing period.,The abrupt departure of new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury after 34 days shook up the Trojans' recruiting class and led to the departure of receiver commit Bru McCoy, who spurned USC for Texas.,The day had an international flavor with the Utes bringing in 6-foot-7 offensive lineman Bamidele Olaseni, a native of London who played last year for Garden City Community College in Kansas, and fellow 6-foot-7 offensive lineman Luke Felix-Fualalo, a former rugby player in Australia who played last year for prep powerhouse Mater Dei in California.

The Raiders didn’t come to Fairfield to play football, they instead came to accept the challenge from a local all-star team to play a charity basketball game at Armijo’s E. Gary Vaughan gymnasium.,The 1979 local team included Fairfield High hoopster/Armijo Hall of Fame coach Jay Dahl, then-City Councilman later-Mayor Chuck Hammond and Armijo hoops standout/Fairfield-Suisun School District teacher and administrator Mark Dietrich, among others.,In his Jan. 23, 1989, column, “Overtime,” then-Daily Republic sports writer Brad Stañhope gushed about the previous day’s dramatic 20-16 fourth quarter comeback victory by the San Francisco 49ers over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVIII played at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami.,Before the game, four local high school football coaches and one junior college football coach – specifically Greg Clark (Armijo), Jim Sykes (Fairfield), Kevin Luckey (Vanden), Tom Zunino (Vacaville) and Ron Beverly (Solano Community College) – unanimously picked the Niners to win.,It came out later that when the 49ers were about to start the final drive on their own 8-yard line with 3:20 left in the game and trailing by 3 points, Montana earned his nickname, “Joe Cool.”

Philip Rivers just concluded his 15th season with the Los Angeles Chargers but the quarterback's future beyond 2019 is one of many areas that general manager Tom Telesco will have to address during the offseason.,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.,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.,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.,"We had a very good football team but we played a better football team in New England at New England.

Then we give up.Other Chargers storiesChargers Cover-Three defense looked more like Cover-NoneHelene Elliott columnizes off of the gameAntonio Gates wants to keep playingSaints winThe New Orleans Saints defeated the defending Super Bowl champ Philadelphia Eagles, 20-14, to advance to the NFC title game, where they will host the Rams next Sunday at noon on Fox.That means the conference championship will be a rematch of teams that met in Week 9, with the Saints beating the Rams, 45-35, also in New Orleans.I think that we match up really well, Rams offensive lineman Rodger Saffold said of the Saints.,The last time we played them, it came down to a game of just running out of time.At the end of the day, I think well have a better plan against them the second go-round, and youve got to be excited to be able to go back there and get another chance at those guys again.You can take a first look at the Rams-Saints matchup by clicking here.So, it will be Rams-Saints for the NFC title and Patriots-Chiefs for the AFC title.,So did the Cleveland Cavaliers.Things arent quite that bad, but the Lakers are 3-7 since LeBron James was injured and are tied with Utah for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.Fans took to social media after the game to criticize coach Luke Walton.,Turns out it wasnt gold in their stockings, it was a lump of coal painted gold.Also check out:Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram take on expanded roles with LakersHigh school basketballOne thing that often gets overlooked in the discussion of the impending strike by the LAUSD teachers strike set to begin today is how the strike will impact high school sports.High school sports reporter and columnist Eric Sondheimer takes a look at that by using the upcoming Fairfax-Westchester game as an example.The strike will halt the sports seasons for thousands of City Section athletes, boys and girls.,Bartow seemed pretty unhappy with the team in the second half, becoming very animated in timeout huddles more than once.Kris Wilkes had 21 points and Prince Ali had 13 points for the Bruins, who lost their first Pac-12 game and are now 3-1 under Bartow.USC basketball (Kevin Porter Jr. suspended indefinitely)What seemed so promising turned out to be a disastrous time in Oregon for the USC mens basketball team.

New England needed a field goal from Stephen Gostkowski in the waning seconds to slip past the Chiefs 43-40 in one of the wildest games of the regular season in Week 6.,Tom Brady had one of his best games of the season in the Oct. 14 victory over KC, throwing for 340 yards and a touchdown and running for another to earn his 200th career victory as starting quarterback.,Buoyed by the run game, Brady was in vintage form at age 41, completing 34 of 44 for 343 yards and a touchdown.,When he caught an 8-yard pass from Rivers to make it 41-28 in the final minute, it made him the oldest tight end in NFL history with a touchdown catch in a playoff game.,NO PLACE LIKE HOME

While a lot was made of the Chargers' success on the road this season, Rivers said it might have been nice to play Sunday's game at home. read more

The Indianapolis Colts, led by quarterback Andrew Luck and receiver T.Y. Hilton, meet the Kansas City Chiefs, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce, in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game on Saturday, January 12, 2019 (1/12/19) at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.,In a later game, the Dallas Cowboys, led by quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, meet the Los Angeles Rams, led by quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley, in an NFC Divisional Playoff Game on Saturday, January 12, 2019 (1/12/19) at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.,Here's what you need to know:

Who: Colts vs. Chiefs read more

The Pro Football Hall of Fame released its 15 modern-era finalists for the Class of 2019 on Thursday, and among the esteemed group of gridiron stars were a trio of Louisiana Sports Hall of Famers.,Former LSU offensive line standouts Alan Faneca and Kevin Mawae and Louisiana native Ed Reed made the list of modern-era finalists.,Joining that trio is Louisiana native and former LSU great Johnny Robinson as this year’s senior finalist.,The other modern-era finalists include Kansas City and Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez, St. Louis Rams wide receiver Isaac Bruce, Indianapolis and Arizona running back Edgerrin James, Denver safety Steve Atwater, Washington and Denver cornerback Champ Bailey, New England cornerback Ty Law, Tampa Bay and Denver safety John Lynch, Jacksonville offensive tackle Tony Boselli, Seattle and Minnesota offensive guard Steve Hutchinson, New England defensive lineman Richard Seymour, St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers coach Don Coryell and Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders coach Tom Flores.,Robinson, a Delhi native who was an All-State tennis, baseball and football player at University Lab School in Baton Rouge (his father Dub Robinson coached the LSU tennis team), played on LSU’s 1958 national championship football team, played his entire pro career for the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL, winning championships in 1962, 1966 and 1969.

With that in mind, time for some reckless speculation about where Brown could possibly fit both within cap requirements and team needs.,Brown will have a cap hold of $22.1 million next season and if the Steelers were to trade him prior to June 1st, they would have over $21 million in dead money on the cap next year.,New York Jets

The Jets also had a player immediately begin “recruiting” Brown with safety Jamal Adams tweeting at the wide receiver after all of the news broke.,Indianapolis Colts read more