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Lesean McCoy hopes to catch more passes in Buffalo's new offense

After Rex Ryan was fired in Buffalo, the Bills hired Sean McDermott as the new head coach. McDermott brought in Rick Dennison as his offensive coordinator and that means the team will have a new offense in 2017.

Dennison worked with running back Arian Foster who was known for catching a lot of passes in his system. Former Pitt standout Lesean McCoy hopes he'll be able to do the same with the Bills.

"The running backs getting the ball in the passing game," McCoy told reporters on Thursday. "That’s something I’ve been a part of, but it’s been a while since I’ve actually got the ball a lot in the air — we do a lot of that. [Rick Dennison is] big on that, you look at all the successful running backs that’s been in his offense, from Arian Foster who I’m a big fan of, he did it on the ground and in the air."

McCoy as a pass-catcher isn't a new idea so he should be at home in Dennison's offense.

He's caught at least 50 passes in four of his eight NFL seasons but he's done less of that in recent years. He had 50 last year, but had only 28 and 32 in 2014 and 2015, respectively. He hasn't caught more than 50 since his days with the Eagles and while I'm not betting on him getting the 78 he did as a second-year player, he could be more involved in the passing game than in years past.

McCoy will be 29 next season and is obviously at the tail-end of his career. But I'm excited to see what he can do in a new offense where he's potentially utilized a little more as a receiver.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Former Pitt baseball star T.J. Zeuch enjoying solid second season in minors

Last year, Pitt ace T.J. Zeuch was selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft, going to the Toronto Blue Jays. Zeuch signed quickly and spent the rest of that year in rookie ball and at the Class A level.

In 2017, Zeuch still finds himself in Class A, but in the advanced league with Dunedin. And the move up the ranks hasn't slowed him down much statistically.

So far this year, he is 3-3 with a 3.23 ERA through nine starts. Zeuch has given up only two home runs in 53 innings of work and has 42 strikeouts. His K/inning ratio has dropped slightly but his ERA is more than a full run lower than it was last year in the same amount of starts.

Zeuch still has quite a while to get to the big leagues but so far, he seems to be progressing well.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Cardiac Hill Poll of the Day: Who will win the Pitt football running back job in 2017?

With the loss of James Conner to the NFL Draft, the Pitt football running back situation is up in the air. Recently, Qadree Ollison was Athlon's pick for the All-ACC Third Team so they believe he'll come out with the job. But the Panthers have several candidates.

Ollison, of course, is one. He won the 2014 ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year Award with more than 1,000 yards on the ground but he was mostly benched last year behind Conner and others. Then there's Chawntez Moss, who looked promising when he got a chance to play and, at times earlier in the year, even looked like the team's best back. There's Darrin Hall, who was ahead of Ollison on the depth chart last year and had a slightly more productive season. On top of that, Pitt has two four-star recruits coming in the fall in Todd Sibley (a one-time Ohio State commit) and A.J. Davis, who had offers from a boatload of major programs.

Who do you think comes out on top for the starting running back job next year?

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.
Poll Who will be the starting Pitt running back in 2017? Qadree Ollison Chawntez Moss Darrin Hall A.J. Davis Todd Sibley   1 votes | Results

Pitt baseball players not in demand for 2017 MLB Draft?

Last year, the Pitt baseball team lost five players that were selected in the MLB Draft. This year looks like a different tale, however.

The Panthers not only don't have the highly coveted player they did in starting pitcher T.J. Zeuch, but they might not even have anyone on the radar for quite a while. Mock baseball drafts beyond the first round or two are pretty rare, but here's one that has projections on 14 (yes, 14) of the 40 rounds. It includes precisely zero Pitt players.

None of that is too surprising. Pitt's only .300 hitter was freshman Alex Amos (who isn't eligible) and no one hit more than seven home runs on the year. The team's best starting pitcher was Josh Falk and he was 3-7 with an ERA of 3.92. Just not much that screams, 'draft me' - at least not in the earlier rounds.

That's sort of a two-way street, obviously. In some ways, it's a bad thing. You always want to be sending guys to the pros since it not only helps them but proves to recruits that your school can get them to the next level. But in some ways, it also helps with some continuity into the next year and can be good in the sense that you don't have to worry about prematurely losing guys to the pros. The argument can be made, of course, that if you don't have any or only 1-2 guys taken, that you don't have enough talent. That's valid and the trick is to always have guys going to the pros and still having a core of players ready to fill their shoes.

With the team finishing only 23-30 this season, that didn't happen.

None of this means that Pitt won't send any players to the pros via the draft this year. The link provided is only one mock draft and, even if correct, still only represents about 1/3 of the entire draft. Pitt could still send some players in later rounds. But for now, Pitt may not have guys going in the early rounds and even players with eligibility still left that are selected could opt to return if they are taken late.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

WATCH: Twins’ Miguel Sano pranks coach with rubber snake

When you’re winning, being loose and having fun in the dugout is natural. The Minnesota Twins are leading the American League Central division with a 27-20 record, even after Sunday’s 8-6, 15-inning loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

>> Read more trending news

The players are in a good mood, and so was pitching coach Neil Allen until Miguel Sano pranked him with a rubber snake in the dugout, MLB.com reported.

Allen was giving out high-fives in the dugout before Sunday’s game when Sano made his move. As Allen high-fived him, Sano handed his coach a rubber cobra. Allen’s reaction is priceless as he suddenly bolts backward in terror.

After catching his breath, Allen had a good laugh with the players.

Denver sportswriter fired after tweet about Indy 500 winner

A Denver sportswriter has been fired from his job for an insensitive tweet about the winner of the Indianapolis 500 being from Japan.

>> Read more trending news 

Terry Frei of the Denver Post tweeted that he was “very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend,” the New York Post reported.

Frei’s tweet came shortly after former Formula One driver Takuma Sato captured Sunday’s race at the Brickyard, becoming the first Japanese winner in the race’s history. 

 The tweet caused an immediate backlash on social media, with some Twitter users criticizing his post as insensitive.

Frei later deleted his tweet and apologized.

“I fouled up. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said what I said when I said it. I should have known better and I regret it,” he tweeted.

The apology may have came too late, however. The Denver Post issued a statement on Frei Monday saying that he had been fired:

We apologize for the disrespectful and unacceptable tweet that was sent by one of our reporters. Terry Frei is no longer an employee of The Denver Post. It’s our policy not to comment further on personnel issues. The tweet doesn’t represent what we believe nor what we stand for. We hope you will accept our profound apologies.

WATCH: Man on drone delivers game ball in Portuguese Cup final

Now this is the way to deliver a game ball. 

>> Read more trending news

Before Benfica and Guimaraes met in the final of the Portuguese Cup on Sunday, a man brought the game ball to the officials by flying a drone into the stadium. 

Despite damp conditions, the man made a perfect landing and handed the ball to the head official.

Benefica won 2-1 to earn its 26th Portuguese Cup and its 11th league and cup double.

Seven Pitt track and field athletes will compete at NCAA Championships

The NCAA Preliminary East track and field rounds were held this weekend and after the dust settled, seven Pitt athletes qualified for the NCAA championships.

Leading the way is Desmond Palmer, who will participate in two events - the 110m hurdles and the 400m hurdles. The 400m hurdles is really his specialty as he is a three-time All-American in that event. Palmer is the only male athlete that will participate at the championships.

Andim Fosam (hammer throw), Gillian Schriever (10,000m), and the women's 4x400m relay team (Morgan Harvey, Quadaisha Newkirk, Danielle Leaks, and Desiree Garland) will join him at the championships in Eugene, OR.

The event is held from June 7-10.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Matt Galambos hoping to catch on with Steelers

Pitt had five players selected in the NFL Draft this year, but a few others landed rookie tryouts. One of those was linebacker Matt Galambos who got a look with the Steelers.

It's difficult to make a final roster as an undrafted player but Galambos is hoping to do just that. Step one? Get signed and after the camp, GGalambos achieved that goal.

"I knew if I went out and gave all that I had, learned the plays, the installs to the best of my ability, I would be okay with it," said Galambos. "Right after the final practice of minicamp (General Manager) Kevin Colbert came up and talked to me about staying here. It was an honor. ... "Getting signed is the first step. You are in the camp. Now you have to keep going. People think you are all set. But there is a long way to go. There is so much work to put in. But it’s awesome. Nobody in my family has ever experienced anything like this."

The odds are still pretty stacked against Galambos but as Steelers Depot suggests, the Steelers are a little thin at inside linebacker and that could to a way being paved for the former Pitt  player.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

=Jabaal Sheard threw out the first pitch at an Indianapolis Indians game. Let's judge it.

Former Pitt defensive end Jabaal Sheard is a new member of the Indianapolis Colts after winning a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots this past season. In the offseason, he got a three-year deal worth a reported $25.M with the Colts. Almost half of that is said to be guaranteed.

Sheard, naturally, is making the circuit around his new city and recently, had the chance to throw out the first pitch at an Indy Indians game. The Indians, of course, are the AAA affiliate of the Pirates so there's even another Pittsburgh connection there.

The pitch wasn't disastrous, but, I mean, it could have been better.

Take a look here and vote in the poll to let us know how you think he did.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.
Poll How would rate Jabaal Sheard's first pitch? Great Above average Decent Um ... Yikes   0 votes | Results

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