BC-Sports Preview Digest

BC-Sports Preview Digest

Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Wednesday. A full Sports Digest will be sent about 3 p.m. All times EST:

- A day before Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey airs, the sports world knows that he confessed to doping. Still a mystery is exactly what he admitted to.

- FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Tom Brady has faced some tough times against the Baltimore Ravens. His passer rating is lower against them than against any other team. On Sunday, he gets a chance to turn that around when the New England Patriots play the Ravens in the AFC championship game.

- SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Despite all those gaudy statistics and impressive physical skills, Colin Kaepernick faced plenty of questions coming out of Nevada about whether he was the product of a gimmicky college offense that would have no chance of working in the pros.

- OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Ray Lewis sure doesn't look the part of an aging linebacker on the brink of retirement. Lewis has led the Ravens in tackles in each of the past two games and looks as though he could play into his 40s, even though he insists his career will draw to a close when Baltimore's playoff run ends.

- MELBOURNE, Australia - Novak Djokovic is all but perfect in his second-round match against Ryan Harrison, beating the 20-year-old American 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 to stay on track for his third consecutive Australian Open title and the fourth of his career.

- CHICAGO - The Bears hire Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman to replace the fired Lovie Smith, hoping he can get the most out of quarterback Jay Cutler and make Chicago a playoff team on a consistent basis.

- OAKLAND, Calif. - LeBron James can become the youngest player in NBA history to reach 20,000 points when the slumping Miami Heat visit the upstart Golden State Warriors. James needs 18 points to reach the milestone.

- BOSTON - Rookie Austin Rivers faces his father, Celtics coach Doc Rivers, in the NBA for the first time when the New Orleans Hornets play Boston.

- SALT LAKE CITY - The player who nearly died after collapsing on the basketball court six weeks ago ran a mile the other day. Unless Utah State's Danny Berger takes his shirt off to reveal where a defibrillator has been implanted in his chest, he seems like any 22-year-old college athlete.

Mike Tomlin, Antonio Brown go to Penguins playoff game

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Mike Tomlin, Antonio Brown go to Penguins playoff game

If you didn't the the Pittsburgh Steelers enough already, this ought to help. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and receiver Antonio Brown decided to take in some hockey on Thursday and unfortunately, they were cheering for the local team.

On the one hand, what do you expect? They play for the Pittsburgh Steelers so it's no surprise to see them cheering for the hometown team. On the other hand, the Steelers are the team Ravens fans all love to hate so to see them supporting the chief rivals of the Washington Capitals, that stings.

Just one more reason to hate the Steelers this football season.

RELATED: SEAN PAYTON SAYS RAVENS LOSING WEEK OF OTAS ISN'T THAT BIG OF A DEAL

Sean Payton says Ravens losing week of OTAs isn't that big of a deal

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Sean Payton says Ravens losing week of OTAs isn't that big of a deal

The Ravens forfeited one week of OTAs as part of their punishment for breaking offseason workout rules (the team dressed players in full pads during rookie minicamp, which is a no-go). But don't worry guys, Saints head coach Sean Payton says that's no biggie. 

Of course a few OTA days seem like peanuts to a guy who was suspended for all of 2012, you may be thinking. But hear the man out.  

During a radio interview with PFT Live, Payton was asked about the impact of losing those sessions. 

I don’t think it’s a big deal. The reason I say that is, look, it doesn’t keep the players from lifting and running and so a week of OTAs would be three on-the-field sessions. You don’t want to lose those opportunities and, shoot, one of those opportunities you might have some type of team building experience set up. I think each team does similar things during the OTAs. There’s a lot of offense versus defense. There’s some restrictions regarding one-on-ones but the players are out there in their element, and they’re going though a little bit of a practice format for two hours. So really that equates to about six hours on the field.

Payton explained that the offseason's first phases are valuable because players return to the facility to work out and build camaraderie.

The Ravens may miss out on practice elements, but they're still getting to do what's most important at this early juncture. 

Ravens receiver Breshad Perriman hopes for better health for ailing father and himself

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Ravens receiver Breshad Perriman hopes for better health for ailing father and himself

As Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman looks forward to a healthier season, he is also dealing with his father’s health concerns.

Brett Perriman, who suffered a stroke May 3, has been transferred from a Miami area hospital to Atlanta for rehabilitation, according to The Miami Herald. The 50-year-old Perriman played for the Saints, Lions, Chiefs, and Dolphins during his 10-year NFL career.

On his Twitter account, Breshad Perriman offered encouragement for his father.

Perriman talked about his father’s health issues briefly following the Ravens’ first OTA session. This has been a difficult offseason for Perriman, who was very close to former Ravens cornerback Tray Walker, who died in a dirt bike accident in March.

“It’s been crazy,” Perriman said. “I’ve been through a lot this offseason, but it’s just making me stronger again and just learning to keep faith and pray a lot more. It’s been rough. It still is rough from time to time, but I’m steady getting through it, pushing through it and keeping faith.”

Perriman missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury, but looked 100 percent at OTA’s running pass routes.

“I don’t even think about it (knee injury) anymore,” Perriman said. “I feel great.

“Not being able to play, that was a hard thing … I feel much stronger. I feel like I went through a lot last year and it made me a better player and a better person.”

Perriman will continue to hope that better times are ahead, both for himself and for his father.