Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson stirred up some mild controversy last week when he declared that he — not Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, who won this year’s Heisman Trophy — was the best player in all of college football.“I’m the best player in the country,” Watson told reporters on Dec. 19. “That’s how I think. That’s how I feel. You know, people have their own way of voting.”Although Watson won his second straight Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s most outstanding QB this season, he ended up second behind Jackson in the Heisman voting. And the O’Brien-Heisman split — “best quarterback” vs. “best player” — is pretty much the heart of Watson’s rivalry with Jackson.In the traditional sense of the QB role, Watson was probably a better pure passer than Jackson this season. Watson threw for 524 more yards, had a higher passing efficiency rating (according to the NCAA’s formula) and contributed many more expected points added (EPA) in the air than Jackson did. More to the point, Watson had a vastly superior completion percentage (68 percent to 58 percent), threw fewer of his passes off-target (11 percent vs. 15 percent), and was notably better in the short-to-intermediate passing game. He beat Jackson in Total QBR (81.2 to 76.9) on passes that traveled 15 or fewer yards through the air — plays that accounted for about three-quarters of each QB’s total attempts — and a higher percentage of Watson’s passing yards also came after his receivers caught the ball, a healthy indicator in the type of quick-passing game Clemson employs.As a result of all that controlled passing, Clemson’s aerial attack was more efficient than Louisville’s this year. The Tigers ranked fifth among Power Five conference teams in passing EPA, piling up about 40 percent more expected points per game via the pass than the 12th-ranked Cardinals.Still, Jackson made up the difference as an all-around QB. He generated nearly 70 more yards of total offense per game than Watson, thanks in large part to his mobility — Jackson rushed for an incredible 1,538 yards, the most of any Heisman-winning quarterback ever (as well as the second-most by a 3,000-yard passer).1That is, since at least 2000, which is as far back as Sports-Reference.com’s Play Index can search — but also probably even earlier, since I couldn’t find a season in their earlier data that even came close to matching Jackson’s 2016 output. Watson’s no slouch as a runner — he gained 524 yards on the ground, which ranked 15th among qualified FBS QBs — but Jackson probably had the best dual-threat season in college history. When we factor in Jackson’s huge workload in the running game, he had a slightly better Total QBR than Watson on the season, and he generated about 31 percent more total EPA per game than Watson did.Jackson even had Watson beat in a couple of important passing categories. First, Jackson threw 24 percent fewer interceptions per attempt than Watson did. (Despite his accuracy, Watson has had a problem with picks all year — though his overall game is still so good that it’s hard to say even the picks are a real problem.) And although Watson had the superior overall passing numbers, Jackson had a better year throwing the ball deep. Not only did he do it more — 14 percent of Jackson’s throws traveled at least 25 yards in the air, versus 9 percent for Watson — but he also had a better QBR (77.8 to 71.1) on those long tosses. Watson was more surgical in his deep strikes, with a sterling 8-0 TD-INT ratio on throws of 25 or more yards (Jackson’s mark was a more pedestrian 9-6), but he also spent a significant amount of his time setting up bubble screens with passes at or behind the line of scrimmage. Twenty-seven percent of Watson’s passes were for zero or fewer air yards, compared with 17 percent for Jackson.All told, many of the differences between Jackson and Watson simply come down to the trade-offs a QB makes playing in different offenses. While both teams call their share of zone-read plays, Louisville’s offense asks Jackson to keep the ball and run with it more than Clemson’s does of Watson. (There’s also a school of thought that says this was by design, and that Watson will be unleashed as a runner in the College Football Playoff, so stay tuned.) The Cardinals are a more run-oriented team than the Tigers anyway, and that allows them to exploit defenses for more big plays down the field when Jackson does throw. Clemson, meanwhile, is more set up to control the field through short passing and the selective use of Watson’s running and deep-throwing skills.The big takeaway, then, is that although the two quarterbacks played pretty different styles this season, they both arrived at a similar place in terms of overall production. So the question of who is the nation’s true best player might just boil down to preference: Do you like running QBs who throw a bunch of deep bombs, or do you prefer more pocket-oriented accurate passers who can also run when necessary?If I were starting a team, I’d flip a coin.
READING, MA — Reading Municipal Light Department (RMLD), a sponsor of the Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund (GNEF), announces that the Fund’s 2019 “Give The Gift of Warmth” campaign is now underway with a goal to raise $500,000 and provide energy assistance to more than 1,650 households throughout the Commonwealth. The Fund, which helps families in temporary crisis who do not qualify for federal or state assistance with the payment of their energy expenses, is currently open to all eligible candidates. The GNEF has raised more than $21.5 million and assisted over 88,750 households in need since its inception in 1985.Massachusetts residents who wish to support the Fund can “Give the Gift of Warmth” by using the green-colored Good Neighbor Energy Fund donation envelope found as an insert in your electric bill. Customers can also donate on-line by visiting http://www.magoodneighbor.org or simply mail a check payable to “Good Neighbor Energy Fund” and send it to the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, c/o The Salvation Army, 25 Shawmut Road, Canton, Massachusetts 02021-1408.The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund is often the last resort for families who do not qualify for federal and state assistance programs. The Salvation Army, which administers the Fund, pays the energy provider directly for households whose gross income falls between 60 and 80 percent of the state’s median income levels. For example, a household size of 4 would need to have a total gross yearly income of between $68,289 and $91,052 to qualify. This campaign year’s Fund disbursement is $300 per eligible household per heating season. To apply to the Fund for assistance, visit a local Salvation Army Corps Community Center or call 800-334-3047.(NOTE: The above press release is from the Reading Municipal Light Department.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedRMLD Cuts Ribbon For New Battery Energy Storage SystemIn “Government”SAVE THE DATE: RMLD To Hold Family-Friendly Open House On October 10In “Community”RMLD Offers New Solar Rebate Program To CustomersIn “Government”
Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) created history on Monday when masala bonds raised by the Indian mortgage lender were listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The bonds received a good response, with bids worth Rs. 8,700 crore on debut.HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh and CEO Keki Mistry were present on the historic day at the LSE.Masala bonds are rupee-dominated bonds raised outside India. HDFC was the first Indian company to do so when it raised Rs. 3,000 crore in masala bonds at a coupon rate of 7.875 percent per annum. The bonds have a tenor of three years and one month. At an issue price of Rs. 99.24 per bond of the par value, the effective yield on the bonds is 8.33 percent per annum. The success of the masala bond issue has generated phenomenal hunger among global sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) for such debt offerings in the future. “We are getting calls from SWFs around the world, saying ‘the next 20 billion, just give it to us'”, Parekh told Reuters.The success of the maiden masala bond issue by an Indian company would set a similar trend among other Indian firms, notwithstanding the 5 percent tax deduction at source (TDS) clause (also called withholding tax) that can raise the cost of borrowing for the issuer.The bonds won’t be traded on Indian stock exchanges.The maiden masala bond issue was lapped up by many foreign investors, making HDFC express confidence over the successful placement of the debt programme.”This is a milestone transaction for HDFC. We have successfully achieved our objective of attracting a global pool of capital to further diversify our borrowing profile. The positive investors response towards this issuance reinforces the blue-chip positioning of HDFC and establishes a significant landmark for Indian companies,” Parekh had said in a regulatory filing on July 14 to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).From an investor profile perspective, 86 percent of the final allottees were Asian and European investors. While 18 percent of the investors were banks, the rest were institutional investors, HDFC had said in a statement.On Tuesday, HDFC shares were trading at Rs. 1,338.45 apiece on the BSE at around 12.46 p.m., down 2.62 percent from their previous close. HDFC Bank shares were flat at Rs. 1241.70 apiece.The Sensex was trading about 50 points higher at 28,024.
Share AP Photo/Charles DharapakFormer FBI Director Robert Mueller is seated before President Barack Obama and FBI Director James Comey arrive at an installation ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.The special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election has charged an attorney with lying to federal investigators about his interactions with a former Trump campaign official, according to court papers made public Tuesday.Alex van der Zwaan, who worked at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom until he was fired last year, appeared at court later Tuesday at a plea hearing.The charge does not involve election meddling or relate to the Trump campaign’s operations. It stems from a part of the special counsel’s investigation into Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair, and Rick Gates, a former campaign aide and longtime business associate of Manafort.Manafort and Gates are accused of directing a covert Washington lobbying campaign on behalf of pro-Russian Ukrainian interests. The lobbying effort was part of political consulting work that Manafort and Gates carried out before they joined the Trump campaign.Gates and Manafort were indicted last year and accused of conspiring to launder millions of dollars they earned from political consulting work in Ukraine. Both have pleaded not guilty.Van der Zwaan is accused of lying to investigators about his interactions with Gates during an interview with the FBI late last year, according to the charging document filed in federal court in Washington. David Mills and Laura Grossfield Birger, attorneys for van der Zwaan, did not immediately return email and phone messages Tuesday afternoon.Van der Zwaan’s plea hearing Tuesday comes on the heels of an extraordinary indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller last week that charged 13 Russian individuals and three Russian companies in a hidden social media effort to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election by denigrating Democrat Hillary Clinton and boosting the chances of Trump.According to the court filing, prosecutors say van der Zwaan lied about his role in the production of a report on the trial of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. She is a political foe of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, whose political party was a client of Gates and Manafort.Van der Zwaan is accused of lying during an interview with prosecutors and FBI agents on Nov. 3, 2017, about the timing of his last communication with Gates and an unidentified person described as “Person A.”Van der Zwaan told investigators that he last texted with Gates in mid-August 2016 and his last contact with Person A was in 2014 when he discussed the person’s family. But prosecutors say that wasn’t true.In fact, they say he had discussed the Tymoshenko report with Gates and Person A in September 2016 during a phone call that he surreptitiously recorded. They also say Van der Zwaan deleted emails sought by the special counsel’s office including one between him and Person A from September 2016.Matt Rourke, File, APIn this July 17, 2016 file photo, Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland as Rick Gates listens at back left. Emails obtained by The Associated Press shed new light on the activities of a firm run by Donald Trump’s campaign chairman. They show it directly orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine’s ruling political party, attempting to sway American public opinion in favor of the country’s pro-Russian government. Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, never disclosed their work as foreign agents as required under federal law.The Tymoshenko report was cited in the 12-count indictment against Manafort and Gates. It accuses the two men of acting as unregistered lobbyists in connection with the rollout of the report, which was commissioned by the Ukrainian government. According to the indictment, Manafort and Gates “used one of their offshore accounts to funnel $4 million to pay secretly for the report.”The report was authored by the law firm, Skadden, Arps. Van der Zwaan’s now-defunct LinkedIn page lists him as an associate in the London office of the law firm.On Tuesday, Skadden Arps released a statement saying it had fired van der Zwaan last year. The firm said it “has been cooperating with authorities in connection with this matter.”It did not say what led to the firing. The charging document notes that the emails van der Zwaan is accused of deleting and withholding from the special counsel’s office were also sought by the law firm, which is referred to as “Law Firm A.”Last year, van der Zwaan married the daughter of Ukrainian-Russian billionaire German Khan, according to the Russian editions of Forbes and Tatler magazines.The lavish wedding to Khan’s daughter, Eva, was held at Luton Hoo, a historic mansion-turned golf hotel outside London. The three-day event included a Russian party complete with a Cossack choir and guests dressed in Russian folk costumes, according to the magazines.Khan, who was born in Kiev, shares control of Russia’s biggest financial and industrial investment conglomerate, Alfa Group, with fellow billionaires Mikhail Fridman and Alexei Kuzmichev.Forbes estimates Khan is worth $10 billion.
X Today marks five years since four Houston firefighters were killed combatting a motel fire in southwest Houston. A fifth injured in the fire passed away last year from complications related to his injuries.It was the most catastrophic loss of life the fire department had ever experienced in a single incident. Just days after, thousands gathered at NRG Stadium to attend a memorial service.Today, firefighters gathered at the site of the blaze to pay their resects. Among them was Dr. Sam Buser, who was the Houston Fire Department’s staff psychologist who helped firefighters deal with the tragedy in its aftermath.Houston Matters host Craig Cohen talks with Dr. Buser about the challenges the survivors and their colleagues still face. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share Credit: AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Cody DuffIn this May 31, 2013 file photo, a firefighter injured while fighting a fire at the Southwest Inn in Houston is wheeled to an ambulance. (AP Photo) Listen 00:00 /05:32
Siliguri (WB): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday demanded that the Centre should slash fuel prices by Rs 10 per litre at least and also withdraw the cess on petroleum products. Banerjee was reacting to the Centre’s announcement of a Rs 2.50-per-litre cut in petrol and diesel prices by reducing the excise duty by Rs 1.50 a litre and asking oil companies to absorb another Re 1. “The central government should slash fuel prices by Rs 10 at least. This government at the Centre is not bothered about the well-being of the masses… They are only interested about their party (BJP),” Banerjee, whose government had last month slashed petrol and diesel prices by Re 1 per litre, said while addressing a programme in Siliguri. The Centre should also withdraw the cess on petroleum products. The increase in fuel prices have a spiralling effect on the prices of essential commodities, the chief minister added.
Microsoft announced that it is open-sourcing its new cutting-edge compression technology, called Project Zipline, yesterday. As a part of this open-source release, Project Zipline compression algorithms, hardware design specifications, and Verilog source code for register transfer language (RTL) has been made available. Apart from the announcement of Project Zipline, the Open Compute Project (OCP) Global Summit 2019 also started yesterday in San Jose. In the summit, the latest innovations that can make hardware more efficient, flexible, and scalable are shared. Microsoft states that its journey with OCP began in 2014 when it joined the foundation and contributed the server and data center designs that power its global Azure Cloud. Moreover, Microsoft contributes innovations to OCP every year at the summit. Microsoft has again decided to contribute Project Zipline this year. “This contribution will provide collateral for integration into a variety of silicon components across the industry for this new high-performance compression standard. Contributing RTL at this level of detail as open source to OCP is industry leading”, states Microsoft team. Project Zipline is aimed to optimize the hardware implementation for different types of data on cloud storage workloads. Microsoft has been able to achieve higher compression ratios, higher throughput, and lower latency than the other algorithms currently available. This allows for compression without compromise as well as data processing for different industry usage models (from cloud to edge). Microsoft’s Project Zipline compression algorithm produces great results with up to 2X high compression ratios as compared to the commonly used Zlib-L4 64KB model. These enhancements, in turn, produce direct customer benefits for cost savings and allow access to petabytes or exabytes of capacity in a cost-effective way for the customers. Project Zipline has also been optimized for a large variety of datasets, and Microsoft’s release of RTL allows hardware vendors to use the reference design that offers the highest compression, lowest cost, and lowest power in an algorithm. Project Zipline is available to the OCP ecosystem, so vendors can contribute further to benefit Azure and other customers. Microsoft team states that this contribution towards open source will set a “new precedent for driving frictionless collaboration in the OCP ecosystem for new technologies and opening the doors for hardware innovation at the silicon level”. In the future, Microsoft expects Project Zipline compression technology to enter different market segments and usage models such as network data processing, smart SSDs, archival systems, cloud appliances, general purpose microprocessor, IoT, and edge devices. For more information, check out the official Microsoft announcement. Read Next Microsoft open sources the Windows Calculator code on GitHub Microsoft open sources ‘Accessibility Insights for Web’, a chrome extension to help web developers fix their accessibility issue Microsoft researchers introduce a new climate forecasting model and a public dataset to train these models