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Football What defenders will emerge in 2017 for Ohio State

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OSU then-junior cornerback Damon Webb (7) wags his finger at MSU after a big play during their game on Nov. 19, 2016 at Spartan Stadium. The Buckeyes won 17-16. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorOffense wins games, but defense wins championships.The Ohio State football team struggled at times last season in moving the ball down the field, but was bailed out on multiple occasions by one of the stoutest defenses in the country. Allowing just 15.5 points per game, the Buckeyes and their Silver Bullets were as tough as any defensive unit in the nation. Now, it’s a new season. Marshon Lattimore, Gareon Conley, Malik Hooker and Raekwon McMillan have departed, leaving enormous holes for OSU on defense.Going into the Fiesta Bowl last season, the Buckeyes’ defense was the backbone of the entire team. And yet, it failed.Even with the potential top-10 picks in this year’s NFL draft, Clemson’s offense paraded up and down the field, racking up 470 total yards of offense. After being embarassed 31-0, some players took the chance to leave early for a shot at competing at the next level.Some of the biggest components of the defense now gone, and a bad taste still in the mouths of fans after the last lackluster performance, but there is still hope for the Buckeyes. A bevy of young talent is emerging during spring practice, and will soon be on display in Ohio Stadium.Ahead of the 2017 spring game, here are three players who could make a name for themselves this season.Dante BookerArriving as a four-star recruit from St. Vincent St. Mary High School in Akron, redshirt junior linebacker Dante Booker has yet to live up to his initial hype. After appearing in 11 games as a freshman and playing 197 snaps as a sophomore, Booker missed virtually the entire 2016 season after suffering an MCL sprain in the first game. Replaced by then-sophomore Jerome Baker, who eventually emerged as a star, Booker is now slated to be the starting SAM linebacker after making it through camp unscathed. And he has high-praise from his teammates.“I see a guy that has a burning desire to be great,” said redshirt senior linebacker Chris Worley. “That’s something you look for in a team and in a coach on a team, honestly. A lot of times you see guys get hurt and they walk around with their head down and just feel like, ‘Aw, maybe next year.’ I saw last year a guy that wouldn’t take no for an answer. It just happened to be his body wasn’t ready for it.”Booker has the body size to be an intimidating force at nearly any linebacker position, and the speed and lateral quickness to effectively play on the strongside. If he can remain healthy, expect big things from Booker, who’s been patiently waiting for his turn to prove he can be the heir to Joshua Perry’s throne.Tracy SprinkleAfter appearing in the lineman rotation during his redshirt sophomore season, then-junior Tracy Sprinkle was poised to take over the primary defensive tackle duties for OSU. After waiting for three years for the chance to be the leading man, his body had other plans. A right patellar tendon tear ended Sprinkle’s season. In the end, then-redshirt freshmen Dre’Mont Jones and Robert Landers took over and handled the duties well, but it’s now Sprinkle’s time once again. “First thing first, thank God I am here to see another day,” Sprinkle wrote on Twitter after his injury. “Time was invested, endless hours of work was put in and sacrifices were made in order to have the best season I could have. Unfortunately God has another plan for me. It left me lost, confused, hurt and discouraged.”Now, fresh off of rehab and a productive spring camp, Sprinkle could be a difference maker.“Sprinkle is the one, he’s gonna be the X-factor when we can throw him in there,” Meyer said on April 4.He might not be the starter during the season, but expect big things from the guy who’s last name is an ice cream topping. Don’t let the name fool you.Damon WebbCall him the forgotten member of the 2016 OSU secondary.Senior safety Damon Webb lined up opposite of Hooker last season, and was overshadowed by the freak athleticism of his counterpart. However, Webb should be a defensive stalwart for the Buckeyes this fall. After totaling 57 tackles and returning his only interception of the year for a touchdown, Webb will be tasked with helping lead a secondary replacing three starters. However, his veteran presence and ability to bring down the ball carrier while defending the pass should make his last season in Columbus a productive one.Earlier this month, Webb claimed he had yet to secure a starting position. Cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs did not name anyone as a front-runner, and even mentioned the possibility of rotating as much as possible.“When you have a talented team, the more guys you can play, keep fresh, keep healthy and get experience, the better you’re going to be defensively,” he said. “I would say there’s no reason to say those three kids can’t do the same thing in the back end.”Still, it’s Webb’s job to lose. And while he probably won’t produce Hooker-esque numbers, expect big things from the Detroit native.The spring game kicks off at 12:30 p.m. in Ohio Stadium. read more

Micromine aims for productivity gains with Pitram Shift Planner 20

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first_imgThe Pitram Shift Planner 2.0 from software developer Micromine has taken into account user feedback, with the latest version built to reflect the dynamic nature of underground mining operations.The new version, to be released shortly, allows planned work for equipment and mining locations to be divided into small, interdependent tasks or activities, allowing these tasks or activities to be rescheduled or re-allocated in real time during a shift.These tasks are communicated to equipment operators along with expected duration and/or deliverables. The progress of a task is tracked automatically and supervisors are notified when a task is at risk of delay. Dependencies between each task are shown graphically allowing the effect of a delay to be identified and the overall impact on the shift outcome to be known.“This type of functionality reflects the dynamic nature of a mining operation, allowing tasks to be rescheduled or re-allocated in real-time during the shift and allowing a manager or supervisor to determine the best way for the shift to be efficient and productive, despite unexpected delays or occurrences that may have occurred in the shift to date,” Micromine said.Unlike traditional in-shift planning tools that focus on equipment only, Pitram’s Shift Planner monitors the production or development cycle at each location ensuring equipment units are not held up due to delays on other equipment.“This is extremely important for operations that are constrained by limited access to stopes or development faces,” Micromine said.Pitram Strategy Manager Gareth Dean said the development of Shift Planner came from collaboration and feedback from Micromine clients: “A missing feature that has been requested by multiple clients is to implement user roles and permissions. Specifically, an often-cited example of this is the inability to lock down a plan and only allow certain users to create or modify a plan.”The current Shift Planner user interface does not allow for much customisation outside of configuring views. This forces the user to adapt to a design that may not suit their requirements. In Shift Planner 2.0, user interface elements will be dockable (or hidden) as required and can be saved per each user’s preference, for individual customisation.In addition, the Short Interval Control (SIC) panel provides a graphical view of tasks in the current shift, comparing planned versus actual start and finish times and progress. This will be integrated into Shift Planner 2.0 as part of the application.Notifications and warnings are an important planning tool to draw attention to the progress of the plan. While the current Shift Planner has no built-in notifications apart from highlighting of tasks behind schedule in the SIC panel, the latest version will include new areas such as: safety messages, tracking the user and being able to add comments.And Shift Planner 2.0 will also allow users to be able to see how the entire shift is operating in relation to the plan.Dean said: “We’re moving into a digital age, no longer are mine sites using paper, white-boards and walkie talkies to track people, equipment and their associated tasks on site. Micromine’s soon to be released Shift Planner 2.0 offering is a true example of digitisation that will offer significant increase in productivity gains.”last_img read more

We wont be treating these games as friendlies – ONeill ready for

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first_imgHE HAS ALREADY shown during his short time in charge that he enjoys the odd joke, but Martin O’Neill is under no illusions that the laughs will quickly dry up if Ireland aren’t getting the right results.O’Neill leads the Boys in Green into an international match for the very first time against Latvia at Lansdowne Road tonight before a meeting with Poland on Tuesday.And although he won’t have the opportunity to test himself in a competitive game until next September, the Derry native says he will not be treating the upcoming double header as friendlies.From a personal point of view, there is no doubt that he would love to get off to a winning start. Looking at the grand scheme of things, it is also vital for the team to put the disappointment of the last qualifying campaign behind them and two wins would help do just that.“I don’t want them to be treated as friendly games,” O’Neill said at his pre-match press conference yesterday.“It’s a bit like the way I would have treated pre-season. Every game becomes important because you have to make judgments on players. I feel the same about these matches coming up.“They are important, even though there isn’t a competitive point or two to be gained.”On paper, a Latvian side ranked 117th in the FIFA rankings shouldn’t cause Ireland a huge amount of trouble.With the experience of how his last job with Sunderland ended still clearly fresh in his mind however, O’Neill knows poor results over the next few months would soon see the optimism shown by fans this past week disappear. Bobby (Byrne, head of security) has been looking after me the last few days,” O’Neill explains. “I said it’s fine now but it’s after we lose a few games that I’ll need you.“It has been great but I’m well aware that this is the 10-minute honeymoon.”O’Neill oversees training last night. Credit: INPHO/James CrombieAfter what has been a whirlwind week for the new management team, O’Neill, who will name his team this evening, admits they haven’t had time to do a “huge amount” over the past four days but outlined the style he intends to play.“The overriding theme, without giving away too many secrets, is that I would like us to try and press reasonably high up the pitch. If we can win the ball closer to their goal it will give some of our ball players opportunities.“It’s a great thought in theory but maybe a different thing in practice. We’ll try and get some enjoyment out of it. For me the best enjoyment is to go win the game.“We’ll try and play with a bit of drive, enthusiasm, determination… all the things that I’m hoping you would expect from the side.”He was also quizzed about the fact that his strikers haven’t been in great form this season.“Shane Long scored last weekend,” he replied. “He got in front of everybody else and got a great jump to score the goal.“I know the game seems to be just full of stats nowadays. Stats for passing, stats for picking your nose. The important stats are scoring goals.I could have one or two players who statistically would be better than Xavi in their passing. But they wouldn’t actually be as good as Xavi. So the important stats are scoring goals.”Has he had time to study tonight’s opposition in detail?“Our statistician Brian (McCarthy) has given us a number DVDs that I’ve had a look at. He has only given me about 35!” he joked.“I think he thinks I’ve got more hours in the day than anybody else. He has been terrific and has narrowed it down. It’s good to have a knowledge of that.”O’Neill set to experiment in his first outing with IrelandCaption time: What are Roy and Robbie saying at Lansdowne Road this evening?last_img read more

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