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Broncos rookie safety Caden Sterns was presented with a new assignment before the regular season: Learn the “dime” position.
Good contingency planning by the coaches.
Sterns didn’t play a defensive snap in the Week 1 win over the New York Giants, but cornerback Ronald Darby’s hamstring injury forced a shuffling of personnel.
Darby was placed on injured reserve. Dime back Pat Surtain II moved to Darby’s starting spot. And Sterns replaced Surtain as the dime player (six-defensive back personnel).
In wins over Jacksonville and the New York Jets, Sterns played 28 snaps (primarily as the dime), making two tackles and intercepting a pass.
“I’m playing with obviously some really good guys who have helped me around,” Sterns said. “I’m still kind of getting used to dime — I started learning it only 2 1/2-3 weeks ago.”
Sterns will play dime for at least one more game (Sunday vs. Baltimore). Darby is eligible to play at Pittsburgh in Week 5, but the way Surtain is playing, the Broncos need to find a way to keep him on the field full-time.
Sterns allowed a third-down completion to the Jets on Sunday in man coverage, but in the final minute, after starting safeties Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson were done for the day, he intercepted quarterback Zach Wilson’s pass after it went through the hands of receiver Braxton Berrios.
Sterns’ takeaways about playing dime? He is lining up closer to the line of scrimmage and things move quicker … a lot quicker.
“Your head has to be on a swivel,” he said. “You need to understand where your help is if you’re playing zone and know how the puzzle pieces fit together so you can react off that.”
Sterns, a fifth-round pick (No. 152 overall), is used to being a quick study.
A five-star high school recruit from Cibolo, Texas, located 25 miles northeast of San Antonio, he originally committed to LSU before changing to Texas.
“It took our entire staff to get him flipped and make him a Longhorn,” said Craig Naivar, who was Texas’ safeties coach during Sterns’ career and now holds the same title at USC.
Sterns was an early enrollee and earned a starting spot as a true freshman in 2018.
“He kept showing up and making plays,” Naivar said in a phone interview this summer. “When he saw something and read something, he would react immediately. He played fast because of his instincts and eye discipline.
“We felt he was a guy that was mature for his age and the moment wasn’t too big for him.”
Sterns was a freshman star for the Longhorns, starting 13 games and totaling 62 tackles and four interceptions. The way Sterns was deployed by defensive coordinator Todd Orlando — safeties were interchangeable — would end up helping him with the Broncos. On some plays, he would line up at free safety, but rotate down to cover the slot receiver, much as he could be asked to do against Baltimore.
Sterns battled injuries during his final two years with the Longhorns. He had knee surgery in the spring 2019, missed four games in ’19 (high ankle sprain) and one game last year (toe). He finished his college career with 29 games (28 starts) and 172 tackles.
A strong start to training camp was momentarily derailed when Sterns struggled in the two practices at Minnesota, but coach Vic Fangio’s message got him back on the right path. Fangio’s words? Just play.
Sterns finished the preseason with eight tackles, tied for second-most on the Broncos. He has carried that over to unexpected playing time in the regular season.
“I expect a lot out of myself, for sure, but I also understood I was going to make mistakes and I couldn’t harp on them,” he said. “The biggest thing was trusting myself.”
ST. LOUIS – Unsettled weekend weather with multiple rounds of rain and storms forecast to impact the area, including a threat for severe weather for St. Louis on Sunday.
Saturday morning into the afternoon expect scattered rain and a few rumbles of thunder mainly south of I-70 to continue spreading eastward. This activity gradually tapers off through the afternoon.
Later Saturday evening into tonight showers and storms develop across central and east central Missouri and lift north ahead of a warm front as we head into early Sunday morning. These storms could produce some hail along with heavy rain. The front stalls across northern Missouri and west central Illinois where heavy rain and storms will continue for much of the day on Sunday. Our far northern counties could be impacted by multiple waves of heavy rain through the day with amounts to around 2”.
For the St. Louis metro area and points south there will be dry time with a few scattered showers or storms at any point. Otherwise much of Sunday brings warmer temperatures to the mid to upper 70s and gusty south/southwesterly winds.
The main concern begins late Sunday afternoon into the evening hours as a low-pressure system and cold front begin to move in. With instability and many ingredients for severe weather in place, strong to severe storms are expected to develop as the cold front moves in. While damaging winds will be the highest concern, large hail and tornadoes are also possible. These storms that develop should merge into a line and push east across the region into Sunday night. Rain comes to an end from west to east overnight into early Monday morning.
A few spot showers may impact the area early on Monday. For the afternoon, lots of clouds and highs in the upper 50s.
ST. LOUIS – The annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s is back this year. The goal is not just to raise awareness about the disease but to also to raise funds for research.
The walk is happening at the Enterprise Center beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
So far, the Alzheimer’s Association has raised more than $800,000, not too far away from reaching its goal of $1.3 million.
This progressive disease affects millions of Americans. In fact, the CDC says in 2020, as many as 5.8 million Americans were living with Alzheimer’s disease.
The number of people living with the disease doubles every 5 years beyond age 65. That number is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2060.
During the walk you’ll see people carrying flowers of different colors, each color representing the person’s connection to the disease.
A purple flower is for those who have lost a someone to the disease. A yellow flower represents someone who is currently supporting or caring for a person living with Alzheimer’s.
Registration for the walk is at 7:30 a.m. There will be a ceremony at 9:15 and the walk begins at 9:30 a.m.
ST. LOUIS – Art historians are calling it the holy grail of a find, a rare work of art found in a St. Louis front yard. What looked like a lawn ornament is now headed to a museum in New York.
It’s a sculpture of two sisters that sat in the front yard of a St. Louis home that’s been on quite a journey. First rediscovered in 2019 by a gentleman named John Foster, an art historian.
For years the sculpture entitled “Martha and Mary” sat on a bench in the city of St. Louis before an art historian saw it while out on a stroll.
“That didn’t look like the commonly seen concrete lawn ornament that we are used to seeing,” said Valerie Rousseau, senior curator American Folk Art Museum & Exhibition chair.
Sally Bliss had inherited this Martha and Mary sculpture, and it sat outside her home in New York when she was a ballet dancer. Years later after her first husband died, she moved to St. Louis when she met her second husband, Jim Connette.
“I had it and put it out in my garden in Long Island, which was our main house, and brought it with me and put it on the bench,” Bliss said.
“I knew it was valuable. But I knew that nobody would steal it because it looked like it was part of the bench and would be really difficult to pick up that bench and steal the whole thing.”
This lawn sculpture was originally made by artist William Edmondson, the famed black sculptor from Nashville, Tennessee.
The ‘two sisters’ sculpture had been featured at the Museum of Modern Art in 1937 in New York and later Paris, France.
Today, William Edmondson is considered a preeminent black sculptor, although he didn’t start sculpting until 1934 when he was 60 years old, and only made 300 sculptures over the course of 15 years.
Using limestone from demolished buildings.
“Like most museums, we have to have supporters to acquire such artwork,” Rousseau said. “Prices for Edmundson sculptures can be $350,000 to $800,000.”
And after some conversations and a cleaning, Martha and Mary are headed back to New York. This time, the sculpture will be the centerpiece of the American Museum of Folk Art. Debuting this January on the celebration of the museum’s 60th year.
Thanks to the generosity of a man named Brian Donnelly, this sculpture and its wild ride of a story will reside in the Big Apple.
“I was sad,” Bliss said. “But I knew that this was the right place for it to go and especially to New York and so many people will see it and he will get his due and to me, that’s more important than me having to be sad because I’m losing that work of art.”
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