Josh Paul is Angels’ new bench coach, replacing Dino Ebel

Josh Paul has been named the Los Angeles Angels’ bench coach.

Alex Smith was fantasy’s top-scoring quarterback during the Chiefs’ demolition of the league during Weeks 1-5. Since that point, however, he sits 13th. Smith totaled 12 touchdowns and no turnovers during the five-game winning streak to begin the year but has seven scores and four turnovers during the recent 1-4 slump. Smith’s hot start got our attention, but a breakout in his 13th NFL season was always unlikely. Smith has never finished a season better than 13th at the position in fantasy points and has reverted to fringe QB1 territory in recent weeks. Despite his recent struggles, Smith has a very appealing upcoming schedule and should be in lineups against Buffalo’s floundering defense this week.

Having reached the quarter mark of the 2017-18 season, it’s time to review the summer’s most notable free-agent signings for early indications of success.

Studying all the significant free-agent contracts signed since July 1, some have already paid dividends, while others are yet to work out. And, some of them are projected to achieve good value over the long term, while others are not.

Ben Roethlisberger exploded for 299 yards and four touchdowns against the Titans in Week 11. It was the first game this season in which Roethlisberger scored more than twice in a game and marked his third-highest passing-yardage total.
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Roethlisberger has been with the Steelers, who took him with the 11th pick in the 2004 draft

“It doesn’t change our planning,” Colbert continued. “When we scout in the fall, we scout every position. Even when Ben was a young player, we still evaluated the quarterback class, because how the quarterbacks stack up (in the draft) is going to affect how the tackles stack up and how the receivers stack up. We always evaluate every position, and if Ben would decide to retire we would be prepared then to move accordingly. I hope we don’t get to that situation for a few more years.

“I’m working under the assumption that until he says he’s retired officially, then he’s not. If he decides to (retire), then we’ll act accordingly, but in the meantime we’re not going to get out of sorts with potential retirements… I’m hopeful and confident Ben will be back.”

Ben Roethlisberger has been with the Steelers, who took him with the 11th pick in the 2004 draft, his entire 13-year career. He figures to retire as a member of the Steelers, which is also how Colbert wants Bell to end his career.

The two sides have to work out a long-term deal and the Steelers could place the franchise tag on Bell by March 1 to prevent him from becoming a free agent on March 9. Bell was a second-round pick of the Steelers in 2013 and has rushed for 4,045 yards and 26 touchdowns despite missing 14 games because of injuries and suspensions.

Things went poorly with that, to put it mildly. Hey, if they hadn’t, the Chiefs would be dealing with someone else’s long-term negotiations, instead of with their single best defensive player and, if not the very best in the league at his position, one of the top three.

By rule, a player can be tagged three straight times. No team has been crazy enough to try it. There’s no reason to think it will happen with Berry. But that’s always hanging out there, right over the head of a key player in the middle of his prime reaching a career crossroads. texans_025