O.J. Howard Avoids the Rookie Wall

O.J. Howard Dodges the Rookie Pitfall

The life of a rookie player in the NFL is all about learning and adjusting to any situation, where some players find themselves hitting the rookie “wall” and never picking up steam again. O.J. Howard is not among those players.

For Howard, if there was ever any reason to suspect that he hit the wall then he hasn’t shown it at all because his progress hasn’t slowed down at all with the season dragging on in its final few weeks. In fact, instead of slowing down he’s actually starting being more productive as of late. None of this is a big surprise for Howard, since he has made it a point to improve his gameplay with every passing week.

When asked, Howard simply stated that everything was going as he figured it would, and that there were a lot of learning experiences still going on and he needed to take them all in. He added that every week something new would occur and it was up to him to perform on the field and cut back on making the same mistakes over and over.

Howard is a former Alabama tight end who was the 19th overall selection in this year’s draft, his size, speed and route-running skills being a major contributor to that. In his first nine games, he only caught 14 passes for 227 yards and three touchdowns, most of which happened in one game. However, in the last four weeks he managed 11 more catches with 175 yards and another two touchdowns, making him one of the better tight ends in the league over the last months.

Howard has managed to become a very efficient target for the Bucs, bringing in a ton of receiving yards in the last month despite doing so with the lowest number of targets in that time frame. Although he didn’t have many catches earlier on in the season, he did manage to average 16.2 yards per reception at the time, and currently he has the highest receiving average for tight ends in the last month, at 15.9 yards catch.

In short, Howard’s rookie season has been quite productive but according to him he just wants to continue and get better.

How Did the Lightning Become the NHL’s Best Team?:

Prior to the start of the season, many fans probably thought the Tampa Bay Lightning would be a good team. Certainly a team that could qualify for the playoffs, which they failed to do the season prior. But they probably did not expect the Bolts to be the best team in the NHL.

Tampa Bay goes into the middle of December with a record of 23-6-2 and 48 points to not only lead the Atlantic Division, but stand atop the entire League. St. Louis and Nashville are right behind the Lightning in terms of points, with 44.

How have the Lightning reached this plateau? Obviously scoring has a lot to do with it. Tampa Bay has put together a balanced scoring attack, with Steven Stamkos again at the center of it. Some fans probably worried about bringing him back when his offense slipped last season to 64 points, after racking up 90-plus points in the previous three seasons. But in his first 31 games of 2017-2018, Stamkos has garnered 43 points (12 goals and 31 assists). Your text to link…Doing even better is Nikita Kucherov, who has 44 points. Of his 22 goals, 18 are even strength. All the other lines have proven to be offensive threats as well. Brayden Point has 30 points playing on the second line, while Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn have combined for 40 points on the third line. Veterans like Ryan Callahan and Chris Kunitz give the fourth line a decent punch.

All that offense, however, means nothing if you can’t keep the other team from scoring. The Lightning are blessed with two great defensemen in Victor Hedman, who finished third in last year’s Norris Trophy voting, and Anton Stralman. The addition of 19-year-old Mikhail Sergachev has only added to the strength of a solid defense, as he usually gets the tough assignments. Then, of course, there’s Andrei Vasilevskiy, who has a .934 save percentage. All of that is the reason the Lightning have given up 75 goals so far this season, the lowest total of any team. It’s also why you can expect Tampa Bay to not fade in the season’s second half.

Mike Evans Celebrates Christmas by Launching New Charity

The Buccaneers’ playoff hopes may be fading, but wide receiver Mike Evans is doing his best to spread Christmas cheer in spite of the team’s difficulties. On Monday, Evans realized a lifelong dream by launching his new non-profit organization, the Mike Evans Family Foundation. The foundation provides college scholarships for underprivileged teenagers and support for victims of domestic violence. Evans and his wife Ashli kicked off a three-day Catch for Christmas event this week to raise money for their new non-profit.

Evans, who grew up in Galveston, Texas, witnessed the results of domestic violence firsthand in his own family. He attended Ball High School where he excelled at basketball and dabbled in football. Texas A&M University then offered him a football scholarship, a school Evans say he never would have been able to afford on his own. After an impressive two-year stint on the Aggies, Evans was drafted by the Buccaneers in 2014. Now in his fourth season on the Buccaneers, Evans is ready to give back to the communities that helped him achieve his dreams. His new foundation will help people in both his hometown of Galveston and in his adopted city of Tampa.

The Evans family kicked off their Catch for Christmas event on Monday with a fundraising dinner at 717 South. The event was attended by such luminaries as Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister and Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon. Evans was also supported by teammates like Jameis Winston. Part of the proceeds of the fundraising dinner will go to the Spring of Tampa Bay, a local domestic violence shelter. On Tuesday, Evans and his wife visited the shelter for a private dinner with survivors.

In the last stage of the foundation’s holiday event, Evans invited 15 children from Sulphur Springs Elementary to the team’s headquarters at One Buccaneer Place. The children knew they were being given a tour, but learned to their surprise that the famous wide receiver and his wife would be their guides. Evans told the children jokes, juggled and gave them Christmas gifts.

Evans is not the only Buccaneer to have a charitable foundation. Former teammate Vincent Jackson has his Jackson in Action 83 Foundation to benefit military families, and Jameis Winston launched his Dream Forever Foundation earlier this year. Although the Mike Evans Family Foundation is launching on small scale, Evans hopes to expand the non-profit in the coming years.

Jon Gruden in Bucs Ring of Honor:

It’s been a dismal season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the team and its fans did have one big thing to celebrate. Monday night, the Bucs added the coach who led them to their one and only Super Bowl win to their Ring of Honor. That would be Jon Gruden.

Gruden came to Tampa Bay in 2002 following a successful stint leading the Oakland Raiders. In four seasons with the Silver and Black, Gruden compiled a record of 40-28, with three playoff appearances and a trip to the AFC Championship Game. His arrival in Tampa Bay came under unusual circumstances for a head coach. The Bucs actually traded to get Gruden, giving up several draft picks and $8 million in cash. The deal paid off, as Gruden changed up the offense and led them to a 12-4 regular season record. He reached the conference championship game again, this time winning it over the Philadelphia Eagles, whom Gruden worked with for three seasons as offensive coordinator. Tampa Bay went on to Super Bowl 37, with Gruden facing his old team, the Raiders. The game turned out to be a one-sided affair, with the Bucs winning it 48-21.Your text to link…

Gruden said he was “overwhelmed,” “appreciative,” and “humbled” at going into the Tampa Bay Ring of Honor. Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander even made up special cleats to honor Gruden on his big night. One shoe has a picture of Gruden’s face, the other shows the killer doll from the Child’s Play movies Chucky, Gruden’s nickname due to his intense facial expressions.

Gruden coached the Buccaneers until the 2008 season, leaving team with a 57-55 record. The year after, he was hired by ESPN as a color analyst for the Monday Night Football broadcasts. Between Oakland and Tampa Bay, Gruden’s career record as a head coach is 100-85, including the post-season.

Gruden was inducted into the Ring of Honor with late Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer. That brings the number of Ring members to eleven. Among the honorees are Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, and John Lynch.

End of an Era: Evan Heads West to San Francisco:

He came up to Tampa Bay in 2008, and made an immediate impact for a team in the pennant race. Twenty-two year old Evan Longoria hit .272 with 27 home runs and 85 RBIs, while also making the American League All-Star team, helping the Rays capture the pennant, and winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award. Since that time, Longoria has been the face of the Rays franchise.

Now they’ll have to find a new face.

A three time all-star and three time Gold Glove winning third baseman, Longoria was traded to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for outfielder Denard Span, third baseman — and Tampa native — Christian Arroyo, and two minor leaguers. While his offensive numbers did slip a little in 2017, Longoria, 32, did have a respectable season with 20 home runs and 86 RBIs, while hitting .261. He also picked up his third Gold Glove, so the Giants can expect very good defense at the hot corner in 2018.

Longoria leaves Tampa Bay as the team’s all time leader in most offensive categories. He is first in career home runs (261), RBIs (892), run scored (780), doubles (338), walks (569), total bases (2,630), extra base hits (618), and sacrifice flies (76). Your text to link…

So what are the Rays getting in return for trading away their most well known player? Longoria’s heir apparent, Arroyo, made his big league debut last year for the Giants, hitting three home runs and driving in 14 runs in 34 games, but with an average of just .191. A career .300 hitter in the minors, he only has 24 career home runs and 204 RBIs in the lower levels. Outfielder Denard Span gives Tampa Bay some veteran experience and a decent bat, as he hit .272 last year with 43 RBIs. Lefty Matt Krook showed improvement after moving into the bullpen midway through last season at Single-A San Jose. Hard throwing righthander Stephen Woods was rated the Number 25 prospect in the Giants farm system.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mike Evans Brings Christmas Smiles To 5th Graders

Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans and wife Ashli, along with the couple’s one-year-old daughter hosted a Christmas party for 13 5th graders from an area school. The party was complete with games to play, snacks, and gifts for the young fans.

The party was but a part of a larger three-day effort on the part of Evans to launch his Mike Evans Family Foundation. Evans and his wife have worked on launching the foundation for some time now and both are proud and active members of the Tampa community.

A fundraiser Monday featured a number of Evans’ teammates including quarterback Jameis Winston and fellow wide receiver Deshaun Jackson. And on Tuesday, Evans visited a Tampa area shelter for abused women and their families.

Both Evans and his wife watch their mothers be subjected to domestic abuse as children being raised in Texas. For Evans, the cycle of violence culminated with his uncle murdering his father.

The couple expressed that their understanding of domestic abuse issues caused it to become impossible for them to not provide whatever help they could for others.

Mindy Murphy, CEO, and President of the non-profit Spring was present at the Christmas party hosted by Mike and Ashli, Murphy had nothing but good things to say. She even commented on the genuine admiration the kids had for the towering NFL star saying they followed Mike Evans around like he was ‘the pied-piper.’

Wednesday’s party put lots of smiles on the young faces attending. The kids were students of Sulphur Springs Community School and were chosen based on academic performance.

The children played games alongside the Buccaneers practice field and Evans, a father of two young children of his own could be seen helping young Adrianna Earnest during a game of bag toss.

When it was time to open presents Evans led the children to a room complete with a tree and wrapped gifts. His simple instructions to the thirteen kids were: Go for it!

Evans reflected on his on upbringing while watching the children. He spoke of how his mom ‘worked three jobs’ and sometimes struggled but always provided Evans and his siblings with ‘the best Christmas’ that was possible.

Lime Crime Expands to a Global Market

When the up and coming brand LimeCrime was looking to expand their market, Kim Walls, Global General Manager realized that the techniques the company is currently implementing would not work in other world markets.

Specifically, the brand is looking to expand to reach the Chinese market. A huge roadblock in this plan is that in order to be sold wholesale in China, the products must be tested on animals which is something that the vegan brand would not support. The way around this roadblock is to ship the product directly from the United States to China. However, this would result in more hassle than it was worth. The company also ran into issues with their lip products being counterfeit distributed through markets in China.

While not looking to sacrifice the company’s beliefs but still having the desire to expand to a global market, the brand found a solution. The solution is to partner with Revolve, an e-commerce fashion platform based out of Los Angeles, California.

The two companies have partnered after determining that they had similar beliefs when meeting customer needs and are encouraging their customers to check out both brands. The brands worked together to spread the word that Revolve was the only legitimate distributor of Lime Crime products in China at this time.

The company did a number of things to promote the launch in China. First, the brand allowed early access to existing fans to the launch which sparked the conversation online. Second, the brand reached out to influencers to help spread the word of the new launch. Instead of gravitating towards well-known influencers, the company chose to work with lesser-known influencers who were extremely passionate about the brand and product lines. The reason behind this decision is that very well-known influencers already have a brand established for themselves so it is sometimes difficult for them to also represent another brand authentically.

The partnering of these brands will surely bring exciting things in the future. This article was based on the article Lime Crime’s nuanced expansion formula published on December 5, 2017, on the website Warc.com.

How Avaaz Is Developing A Community

Based in New York City, Avaaz is an international organization that is dedicated to making the world a better place. They encourage people to come up with issues that are important to them which are submitted Avaaz online. After vetting these issues an email is sent to all of Avaaz’s members for support. People can support issues in a number of ways such as signing an online petition or contacting their representatives in Washington D.C., for example. There are now over 46 million members of Avaaz around the world.

Most of the issues that are found on the Avaaz website have to do with human, civil, and animal rights. They also have campaigns built around stopping, or at least slowing, climate change. One ongoing campaign is about ending plastic pollution because so much of that ends up in the world’s oceans where it is killing life.

One thing that Avaaz is trying to address is the fragmented nature of social movements and citizens groups. In the past each issue had its own membership and constituency advocating for it. This is further fragmented with each often being in a single country. Avaaz is trying to change this by corralling all of the important progressive issues into one website. This streamlines things for everyone since progressives share similar views on many issues, and Avaaz’s lacrosse camp.

Due to its international scope Avaaz uses 15 different languages to campaign in. The core team that makes up the leadership of Avaaz is located on six continents. In addition to supporting online organizing they also sometimes help to organize “offline” events such as protests. They help get media attention for the event so that everyone in the community knows what the issue is, and Avaaz’s Website.

OneLogin: Celebrating 2017 and Starting 2018 on a High Note

Every new year brings its own successes and challenges but, before getting too far into 2018, OneLogin has many exciting highlights from 2017 to share.

  1. In August of 2017, OneLogin brought Brad Burns on board as the new CEO! He has over 25 years of knowledge working with global technology companies.
  2. Fortune Magazine runs the “Best 25 Small and Medium-sized Workplaces in the Bay Area” and in 2017 OneLogin was number 9! This recognition will be the fourth award in two years!
  3. Airbus, an aeronautics and space manufacturer, joined the list of over 2,000 customers in August.
  4. Fourteen new customer stories were released showcasing the great work of OneLogin. Many of these stores came from many different businesses such as manufacturing, educations, and technology.
  5. Adaptive Authentication, which is multi-factor authentication functionality, was released in April. This functionality will review login information when a user logs in, such as geographic location, device, network, and browser, to decide if the connection is secure or not. If the connection is not secure, the user will be prompted with a multi-factor authentication request.
  6. The OneLogin Portal was upgraded in August to include machine learning to make app access faster. Meaning, more frequently used apps will be at the forefront and the search functionality will be more tailored to the user.
  7. OneLogin WAM will integrate with a customer’s web server to secure access to legacy applications so On-Prem applications customers depend on will be more secure.

OneLogin will work hard to make 2018 just as successful. Stay connected to keep informed.

OneLogin was founded by Thomas and Christian Pedersen and was launched in Spring of 2010. The focus of OneLogin is creating a solution for identification and access management that would be as simple to use as the cloud-based applications business relied on.

$18 Billion: Hitting The Financial Mark Every Time

Setting financial goals is a challenge. We all miss the mark we set our goals at. How George Soros was able to donate over $17 billion in one day is beyond what most people understand. It’s a feat that shows how well George Soros hit financial marks in the past.

Imagine if you had the ability to meet your financial expectations every time. This is often expressed as a gift in society’s eyes. The best in the world of investing work on Wall Street. These people are the most successful and keen at understanding what hitting the mark is.

Among those big influencers on Wall Street is George Soros. This investor is famous because he does what no one else does. He recently gives $18 billion to the Open Society Foundation and because of his ability to win big on Wall Street. While beating Britain at its own financial strategy, George Soros became a financial legend.

He’s often said to have, “. …broken the bank of England.”

It all happened in what seemed like a flash, but George’s aim was simply timed right when he hit his mark. This target brought George Soros over a billion dollars in take home money. If we could all hit our financial marks that well, life would gives us each a differ experience.

That’s why we look into the mind of Mr. Soros.

We do so to better understand the madness and its inherent wisdom.

How George Soros Learned To Trade

This expert got his start at the London School of Economics. The university was held as a gateway for future financial professionals, and it still is. George leveraged most of what he learned while attending this school. What brought him the unexpected success seen today is a larger network of educators. These educators were mentors for George Soros.

They taught him about the intricate areas of finance that no university could speak about. This higher level of understanding brought George to a world of wealth that he repeated. History was made with every trade that brought Mr. Soros to success.

A Few More Tradeoffs Along The Way

The direction of George’s life seemed to go indefinitely upward. This is at least the image we have when looking out and in. The billions Mr. Soros made over the years were earned and sacrificed for. None could imagined what George and his family would enjoy as their lives.

There was always a constant struggle, and we see it in the work of this man today. Mr. Soros is seen as an innovator regarding the world of philanthropy. His charity reaches in excess of tens of billions.

His work seems to have just begun also.

From building foundations to donating around the world, we’ve all seen and felt the impact of George Soros. His work fights against corruption and against the inhumanities in life. As long as he remains in charity, we can expect even more accomplished in his hands.

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