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British Grand Prix ‘Just Stop Oil’ protest posed ‘serious harm’ risk to F1 drivers, court told

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Just Stop Oil protestors invaded the track at the beginning of last year’s British Grand Prix; The race had already been red flagged after a huge first-corner crash involving Zhou Guanyu, George Russell and Alex Albon.

Last Updated: 25/01/23 1:35pm

Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou of China crashes at the start of the British Grand Prix

Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou of China crashes at the start of the British Grand Prix

Just Stop Oil protestors caused “an immediate risk of serious harm” to Formula 1 drivers and race marshals by invading the track during last year’s British Grand Prix, prosecutors have claimed.

A jury at Northampton Crown Court was shown in-car footage of drivers Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon passing three men and two women who were sitting on and being dragged off Silverstone’s Wellington Straight last July.

Video recorded by Lewis Hamilton’s car passing protesters shortly before the track invasion was also shown during the Crown’s opening speech – along with video statements issued by five of six defendants who are on trial.

David Baldwin, 47, Emily Brocklebank, 24, Alasdair Gibson, 22, Louis McKechnie, 22, Bethany Mogie, 40, and Joshua Smith, 29, all deny causing a public nuisance at the Northamptonshire circuit in July last year.

Brocklebank, of Yeadon, Leeds; Gibson, from Aberdeen; Mogie, from St Albans; McKechnie, from Manchester; and Smith, from Lees in Oldham, went on to the race circuit during the protest.

Baldwin, of Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, was found in a car park along with glue, cable ties and a Just Stop Oil banner and is said by the Crown to have been “in it together” with his co-defendants.

The British Grand Prix was red flagged on lap one after a huge first-corner crash which sent Guanyu Zhou upsidedown into the catch fencing

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The British Grand Prix was red flagged on lap one after a huge first-corner crash which sent Guanyu Zhou upsidedown into the catch fencing

The British Grand Prix was red flagged on lap one after a huge first-corner crash which sent Guanyu Zhou upsidedown into the catch fencing

Opening the prosecution case on Wednesday, prosecutor Simon Jones told the court: “This case concerns the actions of six Just Stop Oil protesters.

“The prosecution say that these defendants committed a criminal act of public nuisance. As events unfolded, the F1 Grand Prix had started and it was under a red flag after a serious accident had occurred at the very start.

“Each of these defendants were present at Silverstone and they were intent on causing a disruption to the race.

“It is not in dispute that five of the defendants in this case – all of them save for David Baldwin – made it onto the race track and they did not have permission to be there.

“There is no dispute as to that, and they sat down in front of the ongoing cars – Formula 1 motor racing cars.

“They will inevitably say that this was done as an act of protest and in order to bring publicity to the cause and demand they make – of no new oil and gas licences.”

Video footage from various camera angles covering Silverstone was played to the jury, as well as personal video statements from five of the defendants recorded a day before the protest, including a claim that the world is “being destroyed for the benefit of a few people”.

Before the video compilation was played to the court, Jones told the jury of seven women and five men: “You will see the moment they got on the track, having initially waited for most of the vehicles to pass.

“You will then see two Formula 1 racing cars driving past the protesters… while five of the defendants were on the track.

“You will see marshals having to run onto the track and drag the protesters off to the side.

“The prosecution say that there was clearly an immediate risk of serious harm being caused. Plainly they could have been struck by fast-moving vehicles with obvious severe consequences.

“We say that their actions also caused risk to the drivers themselves and the marshals.”

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Lou Anarumo: The Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback slayer is out to stop Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City Chiefs again | NFL News

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Can Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo stop Patrick Mahomes again?

Can Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo stop Patrick Mahomes again?

Lou Anarumo and his hokey cokey Cincinnati Bengals defense have become the talk of the town. A town with Joe Burrow in it.

To solve a problem like Josh Allen, to solve a problem like Patrick Mahomes, to solve a problem like the modern off-script angle-defiant elite quarterback is to do things the Lou Anarumo way.

His art of disguise has excelled to the extent head coach-needy NFL teams have neglected to acknowledge his cauldron of tricks enough to consider him during this year’s hiring cycle. An indictment, no doubt, on them and a flawed hiring process rather than his own credentials.

He has emerged as a remedy to a Mahomesified league in which the Kansas City Chiefs gamer has burdened young quarterbacks with soaring, unassailable expectations through his anything-goes arm talent. Anarumo vs Mahomes likely takes precedence over any Joe Burrow vs Mahomes or Joe Burrow vs Steve Spagnuolo showdown heading into Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.

Eli Apple dubbed him a mad scientist. He is both scientist and architect, receptive and reactive to the league’s college-driven spread movement and the trendy proclivity of pre-snap motion, RPO innovation and the position-less asterisk to on-paper personnel groupings. With today’s offensive sleight of hand comes Anarumo’s own espionage missions. And sometimes, just sometimes, he will merely knock on the front door to tell you what he’s doing, armed with the answer for any ensuing reply.

He gave Allen and the Bills offense headaches by nullifying their downfield knockout power in Cincinnati’s Divisional Round win. Mahomes is next in his sights as they resume their defining duel, in which Anarumo boasts the upper hand.

A look at last season's dramatic AFC Championship between the Bengals and the Chiefs, which was settled in overtime. Can we expect a similar encounter this Sunday?

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A look at last season’s dramatic AFC Championship between the Bengals and the Chiefs, which was settled in overtime. Can we expect a similar encounter this Sunday?

A look at last season’s dramatic AFC Championship between the Bengals and the Chiefs, which was settled in overtime. Can we expect a similar encounter this Sunday?

  • Wagner – Running backs coach (1989)
  • Syracuse – Graduate assistant-assistant defensive backs coach (1990-1991)
  • U.S. Merchant Marine Academy – Defensive coordinator/defensive backs (1992–1994)
  • Harvard – Assistant head coach/defensive backs/special teams (1995–2000)
  • Marshall – Defensive backs coach (2001–2003)
  • Purdue – Defensive backs coach (2004–2011)
  • Miami Dolphins – Defensive backs coach (2012–2017)
  • Miami Dolphins – Interim defensive coordinator (2015)
  • New York Giants – Defensive backs coach (2018)
  • Cincinnati Bengals – Defensive coordinator (2019–present)

Where Josh Boyer’s blitz-heavy approach with the Miami Dolphins had dared Allen’s downfield aggression to beat them, Anarumo’s success was built on delaying the Bills quarterback and forcing him to temper his bombs away tendencies. Simulated pressure became seven and eight-man coverage looks, putting added stress on Allen’s progressions while, in a slightly different way to Boyer inviting shots over the top, daring him to take on dangerous traffic.

The Bengals defensive coordinator has joined in with the league’s shift towards the two-high safety shells inspired by Vic Fangio as a means of eradicating the explosive plays of 20+ yards. But it has been the way in which his unit rolls and rotates to two-high looks and handsomely-staffed zone shells that has been so effective in befuddling the league’s best and brightest under center. And, in contrast, the way he hides blitz packages in zone presentations.

Anarumo blitzed Allen just seven times on 47 drop backs (14.8 per cent) and yet managed to generate pressure on 26 of them by way of his shape-shifting. He turned heavily towards one of the staples of the Anarumo defense in the nickel fire zone pressures whereby at the snap the extra defensive back will rocket to the line of scrimmage from the second level while the weak side defensive end retreats into coverage to muddy the quarterback’s field read. There we have the ‘left foot in, right foot out’ hokey cokey of it all. It preserves the four-man rush while congesting the middle of the field as Allen looks for his hot routes.

A defensive back can hint at zone coverage by aligning with his backside pointing to the sideline, or point to man-on-man by shadowing the motioning receiver across the line of scrimmage or nod to the blitz by lining up in a sprint-start stance, but Anarumo does his utmost to veil intentions by having his creeper pressure man, often a Mike Hilton or Vonn Bell, unassumingly amble across the second level before exploding into life from a non-static start at the snap. Emphasis on the ‘creep’ in his creeper pressure.

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Neil Reynolds, Jeff Reinebold and Brian Baldinger discuss the brilliance of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and discuss whether they can beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship.

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Neil Reynolds, Jeff Reinebold and Brian Baldinger discuss the brilliance of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and discuss whether they can beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship.

Neil Reynolds, Jeff Reinebold and Brian Baldinger discuss the brilliance of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and discuss whether they can beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship.

A key trait to Anarumo’s fire zone pressures can also be the width it creates up front, the angle from which the defensive back darts helping limit the modern mobile quarterback’s ability to roll out of the pocket and freelance in pursuit of an off-platform throw. He will also pull one of Sam Hubbard or Trey Hendrickson off the edge and turn them into a spy, be it to purposely flush a quarterback out of the pocket and into their laps or to again contribute to blocking quite routes underneath. Hence the importance against an Allen or a Mahomes that are as dangerous as any passer in the league outside the pocket.

The pre-to-post snap transformations come with layers upon layers upon layers: Anarumo will simulate a corner blitz from one side while offering a single-high coverage presentation, before dropping said corner and the adjacent defensive end into the second level at the snap while sending the opposite side corner in pressure off the edge, filling the vacated half of the field by rolling his high safety across in an inverted Cover 2 and pulling linebacker Logan Wilson high while Germaine Pratt serves as the hook/curl floater. His own illusion of complexity.

At times he will complement zone coverage across the board by lining up one of his more physical defensive backs in press man coverage against the offense’s top weapon, a Travis Kelce for example, and ask his DB to win his physicality battle mid-route.

Anarumo will also occasionally put a defining onus on the athleticism and instincts of Wilson and Pratt as his two lone linebackers in extra DB packages by lining both up as A-gap muggers at the line of scrimmage before dragging them back at the snap to marshal any crossing routes designed for quick-release concepts.

Highlights of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Buffalo Bills in the NFL Divisional Round.

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Highlights of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Buffalo Bills in the NFL Divisional Round.

Highlights of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Buffalo Bills in the NFL Divisional Round.

He was the star of the show as the Bengals beat the Chiefs in last season’s AFC title game to reach the Super Bowl, Anarumo’s second half answer to Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Kelce being to pull seven or eight men into coverage and suffocate some of the most accomplished offensive spacing and route concepts in the league.

Trailing 21-10 at half-time, Anarumo came out and dropped eight or more defenders into coverage on 45.5 per cent of dropbacks across the second half and overtime period in a rise from just 23.8 per cent in the first half. In those instances Mahomes went three of eight passing for 13 yards and an interception while being sacked twice as the Chiefs offense stalled.

The Bengals had been beaten by two notable chunk plays in the first half, a 44-yard completion to Mecole Hardman and a 33-yard completion to Hill. On the first to Hardman Cincinnati had presented quarters coverage before rolling into a one-high safety in Jessie Bates III, who would be frozen centrally by Kelce’s seam route while Hardman beat Chidobe Awuzie one-on-one with his out-and-up. On the second to Hill the Bengals presented a one-high safety look in nickel with all other DBs lined up in press coverage other than Apple in soft coverage on the Chiefs pass-catcher, who would exploit the extra runway and beat his man with a double move on the deep over route.

Anarumo sought to switch things up with 13 seconds left in the half when he dialled up match quarters coverage with wide 5-tech and 9-tech rushers anchoring a four-man pressure in order to contain Mahomes in the pocket, with Wilson retreating into coverage to bracket Byron Pringle’s over route and Pratt spying the Chiefs quarterback to deny the escape on the weak side. Unfortunately for the Bengals Apple would bite on the in-and-out from Hill and ultimately draw a pass interference penalty after seeing Mahomes overcook his pass to the corner of the end zone.

On the opening drive of the second half Anarumo tackled a Chiefs second-and-six by dropping eight into coverage with Pratt as the hook/curl buffer in the middle of the field, where his presence proved key in delaying Mahomes as he targeted Hill, being shadowed by Hilton, on the deep over.

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor gave a passionate victory speech following his side's comprehensive win on the road against the Buffalo Bills.

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Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor gave a passionate victory speech following his side’s comprehensive win on the road against the Buffalo Bills.

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor gave a passionate victory speech following his side’s comprehensive win on the road against the Buffalo Bills.

Then followed a familiar theme of Bell being deployed as the ‘robber’ out of Cover 2 (two-high) by dropping down into the hole last minute to disrupt dig and crossing routes underneath as another variation on Anarumo’s blend of zone and man.

Mahomes and the Chiefs were not dumb to the seven and eight man coverages – they just could not find a resolution to beating them, even with their alien quarterback’s preposterous skewed-angle freelancing expertise. Late in the third they turned to a condensed formation in a bid to toss the guessing game back to Anarumo, who responded by stacking the box in the face of a wide zone movement before rotating into Cover 2 and watching BJ Hill throw up his big arms to snag a bonus interception at the line of scrimmage.

There is a blockbuster feel to Anarumo’s defense as he favours blanketing every route and every receiver over supreme pressure up front, challenging a Mahomes to produce the best of Mahomes by dissecting the tightest of throwing lanes or spotting and punishing the rare blown assignment, and challenging a Kelce to produce the best of Kelce by way of the best head feint, hip swivel and hand usage on an out route in the league. Beat him, and he will holds his hands up and say ‘fair play’.

How he replicates or adapts previous game plans for Mahomes this weekend comes with added intrigue in the wake of the Chiefs man’s high-ankle sprain. Do you purposely flush him out of the pocket and put his uncertain mobility to the test?

The mad scientist is brewing his next cocktail of chaos, every bit of which is needed against the NFL’s best quarterback.

Over to you, Lou.

The NFL playoffs continue this weekend with Championship Sunday. Watch both games live on Sky Sports NFL on Sunday night, with Cincinnati Bengals @ Kansas City Chiefs kicking off at 11.30pm.

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Tyre Nichols: Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins says ‘senseless’ death of 29-year-old has ‘hit his side hard’ | NBA News

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Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins says the “senseless” death of Tyre Nichols “hit his side really hard” and that watching an interview with Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, left him in tears.

Grizzlies played at Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night, just minutes after footage was released of 29-year-old Nichols being beaten by Memphis police on January 7.

Nichols died three days later on January 10. He was black, as were the five police officers who have been charged with murder.

Speaking to Bally Sports, Grizzlies’ broadcast partner, before the game against Timberwolves, Jenkins said: “It’s been tough being on the road, not being home.

“I wish I could extend my arms through this camera right now to the family. They’re going through a lot. The senseless loss of life for Tyre Nichols has really hit us hard.

“I cried,” added Jenkins, when speaking about Wells’ interview.

‘We’re playing with heavy hearts’

A moment of silence was held for Nichols before Grizzles faced Timberwolves.

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Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins (pictured) says Nichols’ death was ‘senseless’, with the NBA calling the video footage ‘horrifying’

After Grizzles’ 111-100 defeat, Jenkins added: “There’s way harder things on in the city versus what’s going on with our basketball right now.

“I’m proud of our guys going out there. We’re playing with heavy hearts, but we’re also playing for our city that’s going through a lot right now.

“My words will only mean so much. I want to continue to encourage people to put their arms around each other.

“To put their arms around the Nichols family, the Wells family to remember a beautiful life in Tyre Nichols – who I did not know, but I’m learning about.”

NBA: Video images are ‘horrifying’

Several teams, including Memphis, released statements after the video footage of Nichols’ beating was released.

Milwaukee Bucks said: “We are outraged by the deadly beating that Tyre Nichols received from five Memphis police officers.

“While the police officers being charged for their heinous actions is an important step for justice, this incident further highlights the need for progress in improving police-community relations.”

The NBA’s statement said: “The images of Tyre Nichols’ life needlessly cut short are horrifying.

“While there have been steps toward accountability in this instance, the NBA family remains committed to partnering with advocates, policymakers and law enforcement to work toward solutions to the issues we continue to face.”

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) said “Our hearts go out to the entire Memphis community as they are processing and dealing with this horrible tragedy, and we stand by the rightful arrest of all officers involved.

“Such aggressive policing and excessive force illustrate the continued need for accountability in the justice system.”

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Farmers Insurance Open: Jon Rahm moves two behind Sam Ryder as he chases third consecutive PGA Tour win | Golf News

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Sam Ryder holds a two-shot lead at Torrey Pines, with Jon Rahm in second as he looks to become the first player since Dustin Johnson in 2017 to win on three consecutive PGA Tour starts; watch the final round live on Saturday from 5.30pm on Sky Sports Golf

Last Updated: 28/01/23 7:16am

Jon Rahm is second heading into the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open

Jon Rahm is second heading into the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open

Jon Rahm bolstered his hopes of a third consecutive PGA Tour victory after closing within two strokes of the lead heading into the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open.

The Spaniard has battled back from being tied-116th on the leaderboard after the opening day, with Rahm following a second-round 67 on the North Course by firing a six-under 66 on the South Course on Friday to move to 10 under for the tournament.

Rahm, who has already won the Sentry Tournament of Champions and The American Express this month and is chasing a fifth worldwide victory in his last seven starts, heads into the final day in second spot and the closest challenger of American leader Sam Ryder.

Jon Rahm could become the first player since Dustin Johnson in 2017 to win three consecutive PGA Tour starts Jon Rahm could become the first player since Dustin Johnson in 2017 to win three consecutive PGA Tour starts

Jon Rahm could become the first player since Dustin Johnson in 2017 to win three consecutive PGA Tour starts

“There’s pressure for obvious things, but I’ve won my last two tournaments, so I have no reason not to believe that I can do it one more time,” Rahm said. “I’ve been swinging it beautifully all week and it just keeps getting better and better, so hopefully tomorrow I can do what needs to be done.”

Rahm was eight strokes off the halfway lead and was level-par for this round after five holes, having cancelled out a close-range birdie at the fourth by dropping a shot at the next, only to follow three straight birdies from the sixth by holing a 12-foot eagle at the ninth to turn in 31.

Jon Rahm is second heading into the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open Jon Rahm is second heading into the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open

Jon Rahm is second heading into the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open

The world No 3 ended a run of pars with a 15-foot birdie at the 15th and closed out a bogey-free back nine, as Ryder carded a level-par 72 to stay in top spot on 12 under and move a step closer to a potential breakthrough PGA Tour victory.

Ryder mixed one birdie and one bogey in his round before parring his final 12 holes, with the 33-year-old unable to take advantage of any par-fives and missing several opportunities late in his round to extend his advantage.

“Today it’s just a different level of pressure,” Ryder said. “I didn’t feel like I had to go try and make something happen or press, you know, so I didn’t panic when I made a bogey on two.

“I kind of just adjusted to the round and kind of got a feel for where I was at with my swing and my game. Hit some really good shots, felt like I could have made a couple more putts, but overall I’m very pleased.”

Sam Ryder will play alongside Jon Rahm on the final day Sam Ryder will play alongside Jon Rahm on the final day

Sam Ryder will play alongside Jon Rahm on the final day

Tony Finau posted a round-of-the-day 64 to jump into third spot, with his blemish-free card including four birdies in a six-hole stretch alongside a hole-out eagle from 138 yards at the par-four first.

Two-time major winner Collin Morikawa sits in a share of fourth place and five strokes off the lead alongside Max Homa, Sahith Theegala and Korea’s Sungjae Im, while Rickie Fowler jumped into tied-ninth after a five-under 67.

Who will win the Farmers Insurance Open? Watch the final round live on Saturday on Sky Sports Golf, with early coverage from 5.30pm ahead of full coverage from 7.30pm.

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