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  1. It’s entirely possible that Joe Flacco is completely cool with what’s happening around him. But we don’t know that Junior Seau Jersey , because he’s not talking about the fact the Ravens used a first-round pick on quarterback Lamar Jackson. When approached by Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com at the team’s draft event today, Flacco declined the opportunity to share his thoughts. “I don’t think I’m talking today,” Flacco said. Now, it would be irresponsible to add more importance to those six words than they carry on their own. It would also be irresponsible to assume they mean nothing. They exist on their own. A newsworthy thing happened to the team Flacco’s a member of. He didn’t want to talk about it. The聽 reality is, when you use a first-round pick on a quarterback, the clock starts ticking on the incumbent. Flacco has four years left on his contract, but all the guaranteed money is gone after this season. And as Florio mentioned yesterday, there’s a reasonable chance that they could part ways with him as soon as after this season and at least after two more years. That’s plenty of time for an apprenticeship, and the 33-year-old Flacco has to know it. He might have thoughts on the subject, but we don’t know that. When the Los Angeles Rams traded for cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters and signed defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh Fred Warner Jersey , there were questions about how those three personalities might or might not coexist on the same defense. Wrapping up their mandatory minicamp Wednesday, the Rams are optimistic those concerns have been put to rest. "They came in, they were open-minded, and they are coming out here and jumped right into the culture," cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman said of the three high-profile additions. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips meshed well with Talib when coaching him in Denver during the 2015-16 seasons, and his initial impressions of Peters and Suh have been just as positive. Already aware of the physical talent of Peters and Suh, Phillips praised the work ethic and intelligence of both men. "You don't always know that," Phillips said. "I mean, sometimes a guy is really talented, but these guys are smart players and talented. And they do things so easily Nick Boyle Jersey , so naturally. Ndamukong has so much power, you can see it. He just holds a guy off with one arm, those kind of things. And then the movement skills of Marcus are outstanding. He has great change of direction, he's got great hands." As for Talib, Phillips said he remains as feisty as ever. "If there's an argument or if there is something going on, Talib is going to take the other side. No matter what it is. He's going to argue about which rap singer is the best or whatever," Phillips said. But Phillips likes how the the attitudes of all three carry over onto the field. Phillips pointed to an interception Peters made last season for Kansas City, coming off his assigned receiver in man-to-man coverage and making a play on the ball. "I like personalities because they are independent enough to do things on their own, and they have shown they are independent enough to be great players, too. You don't want a player who does everything you say. You want guys that have some initiative Will Lutz Jersey ," Phillips said. With Talib and Peters in the fold, Phillips now has the defensive backs to showcase his own creativity. Talib and Peters can line up on either side of the field, which is an unusual trait in top cornerbacks, and it gives Phillips added flexibility in how to use them. Add in Phillips' confidence in deploying starting safeties Lamarcus Joyner and John Johnson in man coverage, and the veteran coach can call whatever scheme he can conceive. "It gives you so many possibilities to double-cover somebody and put the pressure on one of those guys to cover his guy by himself, and I'm talking about any one of those four. They can help linebackers if they need help," Phillips said. "I mean, I can think of a lot of things to play, but I haven't always had the players to play those coverages and so forth and these guys can, so we've got a lot of versatility there." The possibilities of a secondary with Talib and Peters and a defensive line that will put Suh alongside Aaron Donald have elevated the Rams among the early Super Bowl contenders J'Mon Moore Jersey , and Suh believes that potential is what has allowed the trio to integrate so seamlessly and will keep the team unified. "I think it's easy," Suh said. "We all have one common goal, which is wanting to win and be successful. No matter how strong somebody's personality is or not, it's about as long as you have the same goal all meshing to where you want to be." The swagger of Suh, Talib and Peters has rubbed off on Robby-Coleman, and the slot cornerback would be disappointed if the Rams do not have the top secondary and best defense in the NFL this season, provided everyone stays healthy. "That's the level of confidence that we have," Robby-Coleman said. __ Adidas Jason Pominville Jersey
  2. The San Francisco 49ers have taken a minority ownership stake in English soccer club Leeds. Leeds says on its website the deal is a "strategic partnership with 49ers Enterprises Jack Crawford Jersey , an investment entity affiliated with the San Francisco 49ers." The second-tier club says "funds invested will remain inside the club and will go towards investment in the first team squad." The agreement brokered by Leeds majority owner Andrea Radrizzani sees the president of 49ers Enterprises, Paraag Marathe, join the Leeds board of directors. Seen as a sleeping giant of English soccer, Leeds finished 13th in the 24-team Championship this season. Leeds won the last of its three English league titles in 1992, and was a Champions League semifinalist in 2001. For a team that entered the season thinking it was ready to win 50 games and reach the Eastern Conference finals, John Wall’s Washington Wizards sure did lose a lot of games against teams that didn’t even make the playoffs. And everything revealed by those defeats against the likes of the Hawks and Magic, or the Mavericks and Suns, or the Nets and Bulls – a lack of consistency Chandler Catanzaro Jersey , for example, or an inability to close out opponents – were the same sorts of problems that failed the Wizards in their first-round exit as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. ”We had some great moments. Then we showed bad moments,” Wall said Saturday, the day after a 102-92 loss in Game 6 against the No. 1 seed Toronto Raptors ended Washington’s season. ”Just kind of not respecting some of the opponents that we went against.” Asked why that happened, forward Markieff Morris said: ”Sometimes it felt like it was immaturity. … Not coming in and doing our job.” The issue might have been as much a detriment as missing Wall for 41 regular-season games because of health problems – they were 23-18 with him, 20-21 without – or a mediocre reserve unit. ”I guess the one thing about the Wizards (is) you never know who you’re going to expect today,” center Marcin Gortat said. ”You might get a team that’s going to lose to the worst team in the league – or can beat the best team in the league.” Shooting guard Bradley Beal, who joined Wall as an All-Star for the first time Sheldon Richardson Jersey , agreed with others that the Wizards had a problem taking for granted games against foes with losing records. ”There were a lot of times that we would just show up and think we were just going to win the game,” Beal said. ”You can’t do that. You have to respect everybody.” Wall and Beal – the two leading scorers – are both playing under long-term, maximum-money contracts, as is third option Otto Porter Jr. And coach Scott Brooks has three years left on his deal. So the assumption is that this will be the core moving forward. Wall said it’s clear that Washington needs some new parts, more than once describing what’s lacking are players ”that really want to be here.” Now the question becomes whether that trio of players and their coach can finally take a step forward next year. Wall and Beal have yet to get past the second round of the playoffs. ”Going into the season,” Brooks said, ”we definitely had some high expectations.” They weren’t met. Here are other things to know about the Wizards as their offseason begins: CHEMISTRY MAJORS There was a lot of speculation about whether there was shaky locker room chemistry, and while reserve Mike Scott and Gortat were eager to dismiss that notion Vontae Davis Jersey , others weren’t so clear that it was a non-factor. ”I feel like we might not have identified the real issues,” backup center Ian Mahinmi said. ”Unless we can honestly and genuinely talk and find solution, we (are) going to continue the trend that’s going right now.” He mentioned ”miscommunication” and added: ”I don’t think we had a genuine approach with everything.” Said Wall: ”When things are going well, everybody’s happy, everybody wants to be here. But when things get rough, that’s when you really figure out who’s your brother.” WALL AND BEAL Beal carried the club while Wall was out and played in all 82 games for the first time. As for chatter about breaking up the duo, Beal says he’s not interested. ”They have trusted us, to build around us Keenan Allen Jersey ,” Beal said. ”I’m not really a fan of change and starting over again. Hopefully (owner Ted Leonsis and team president Ernie Grunfeld) won’t give me the boot – or give either of us the boot.” SMALL BALL? With two back-to-the-basket and screen-setting centers in Gortat and Mahinmi, the Wizards could try to figure out a way to make a change to that part of the roster. ”We don’t really have an athletic big. I mean, Ian is older. (Gortat) is older,” Wall said. ”They’re not athletic guys, but they do the little things that permit their game to help as much as possible.” Brooks would love his big men to shoot 3s, but Gortat flatly ruled out trying to work on that aspect of his game. ”I hate small ball,” Gortat said. ”Small ball basketball in this league is just trash.” — Womens Barkevious Mingo Jersey
  3. SAN FRANCISCO — Right-hander Jack Flaherty returns to the scene of his major league debut last September when he closes out a four-game series for the St. Louis Cardinals against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday afternoon. Flaherty (3-4 Dion Dawkins Jersey , 3.19 ERA) will attempt not only to give the Cardinals a 3-1 win in the four-game series but to reward manager Mike Matheny with his fifth series win in seven return visits to San Francisco, where he played the final two years of his career. Matheny has never lost a series as a manager in San Francisco, winning four and tying the other two. He is assured of at least a tie in this one as well, with the Cardinals having posted 11-2 and 3-2 wins sandwiching a 3-2 loss on Friday night. Flaherty was just 21 years old when he debuted for the Cardinals last Sept. 1 in an 11-6 win in San Francisco. He did not get credit for the win, going only four innings Oren Burks Jersey , during which he was roughed up for five runs and eight hits. He’s thus 0-0 with an 11.25 ERA against the Giants. Brandon Crawford doubled and homered against Flaherty, and Hunter Pence lashed a two-run triple. The California native will be seeking to snap a two-game losing streak. He has allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 10 innings in losses to Cleveland and Arizona. Flaherty will be backed by a Cardinals defense that has been superb against the Giants, having committed just one error in the three games. That lone miscue was an errant throw by backup catcher Francisco Pena on a steal attempt. “That’s kind of the initiative we have going on right now: bolstering our defense,” Matheny noted Saturday. “Let’s play a cleaner defensive game. And then hope that we get contributions offensively. Let’s figure out ways to make sure we’re catching the ball to help reinforce the great starts that we’ve been getting.” Luke Weaver, John Gant and Carlos Martinez have provided that pitching in San Francisco. The Giants have totaled just seven runs in the series Sterling Shepard Jersey , extending to six games their streak of scoring three or fewer. Martinez even contributed an RBI double to Saturday’s win. The Giants have hit a cumulative .167 in their last six games, five of which they’ve lost. San Francisco will be counting on ace Madison Bumgarner (1-3, 2.58) to contribute both on the mound and at the plate in the series finale. The Giants have supported their pitching leader with just 14 runs in his six starts. He hasn’t helped his own cause; the slugger with 17 career homers has gone 0-for-14 so far this season. The left-hander has pitched brilliantly in his last three starts, allowing just three runs (two of which were earned) and 12 hits in 21 innings. Bumgarner often has not been at his best against the Cardinals in his career, going 3-5 with a 4.38 ERA in eight starts. He hasn’t beaten St. Louis since 2014. One player who has never figured out Bumgarner is Kolten Wong Shaun Alexander Jersey , who has been the big hitter in the series with six hits, including a double and a triple, and two RBIs. He’s 0-for-9 with two strikeouts in his career against Bumgarner. Wide receiver Josh Gordon had very little time on the field with the Browns this summer, but that won’t stop him from playing against the Steelers in the first game of the regular season. As expected, Gordon was a participant in Monday’s practice after tweaking his hamstring shortly after returning to the team in late August. Gordon did not report to camp on time because he was following the “health and treatment plan” put in place after multiple suspensions for violating the substance-abuse policy. Browns coach Hue Jackson said in a Monday press conference that Gordon is “right on schedule” to play against the Steelers. Jackson also reiterated that Gordon will not start the game and that rookie Antonio Callaway will get the nod with the first team alongside Jarvis Landry. How much Gordon will play remains to be seen Aldrick Rosas Jersey , but the lack of a starting nod may not wind up mattering much if he’s healthy and the Browns are running a lot of multiple receiver sets. Authentic Womens Mike Hughes Jersey
  4. DAVIE Shaq Mason Jersey , Fla. (AP) — Former starting cornerback Tony Lippett has been waived by the Miami Dolphins after missing all of last season with a torn Achilles tendon. Lippett started 13 games in 2016 but struggled returning from his injury in training camp this year. Also cut Saturday was receiver Leonte Carroo, a third-round pick in 2016 who has only 10 receptions in two seasons. Miami kept two reserve quarterbacks, Brock Osweiler and David Fales. Quarterback Bryce Petty was waived injured. Seventh-round pick Jason Sanders apparently won the battle of rookies for the placekicking job when Miami waived undrafted free agent Greg Joseph. Undrafted rookie Lucas Gravelle was cut, meaning 39-year-old John Denney returns for a 14th season as the team’s long snapper. OAKLAND, Calif. — Two teams that began heading in opposite directions at just about the time they saw each other last month hook up again when the San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics open a two-game interleague series Tuesday night. The Padres were within arm’s length of .500 at 34-40, having won nine of 15, when the A’s ventured into San Diego and used a ninth-inning, two-out Adam Butler Jersey , two-strike, game-tying home run from Stephen Piscotty off relief ace Brad Hand to trigger a two-game sweep, winning 4-2 and 12-4. The Padres now head north well out of contention in the National League West, having lost 11 of 14. The A’s, meanwhile, have won 12 of 15 to surge well above .500 at 46-39 and into contention in the American League wild-card race. Oakland has made much of its recent run without standout third baseman Matt Chapman, who has taken time off to allow pain in his right hand to subside. Two cortisone shots later, Chapman had a pain-free hitting session Sunday and was sent to Class A for an injury-rehab game Monday. It’s possible he could be reinstated from the disabled list during this series. “He hit a few off the back wall in center field Lee Roy Selmon Jersey , so that tells me enough,” A’s manager Bob Melvin observed Sunday. “Getting him back in the lineup will be a nice little kick for us.” The A’s need no such boost in their pitching. They have allowed two or fewer runs in four of their last five games. Right-hander Chris Bassitt (1-3, 2.82 ERA) will look to extend that impressive run while at the same time taste his first career success in interleague play. The 29-year-old began the A’s recent pitching showcase with six innings of two-hit, scoreless ball in a 3-0 win at Detroit last Wednesday. He has never faced the Padres in his career, and has lost both interleague starts despite a 2.45 ERA. One intriguing potential matchup in the series is A’s closer Blake Treinen against Padres slugger Eric Hosmer, a pairing that carried a bit of history into a game-ending showdown in the A’s earlier 4-2 win in San Diego. Then a member of the Kansas City Royals, Hosmer bombed a two-run, go-ahead homer off Treinen in the eighth inning of their first career head-to-head last August. Treinen then extracted a measure of revenge in the June 19 rematch in San Diego Janoris Jenkins Jersey , closing out the 10-inning game by striking out Hosmer as he represented the potential tying run. Bassitt will be opposed by left-hander Clayton Richard (7-7, 4.29), who had a four-game winning streak stopped in a 5-2 loss at Texas last Wednesday. He retains a good interleague record (9-5, 3.50) despite not having beaten an American League opponent since 2015. You have to go back three years before that to find his last appearance against the A’s in Oakland, but it was a memorable one. He shut out a playoff-bound A’s team for 7 2/3 innings in 2012, allowing five hits in a 2-1 win. He has faced the A’s three times in his career, twice as a starter, and gone 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA. One A’s hitter that Richard will have to deal with is the aforementioned Piscotty Olivier Vernon Jersey , who played last season for the St. Louis Cardinals. Piscotty has dominated the head-to-heads, going 3-for-4 with a home run and a flyout to deep center field in the only non-hit of the matchup. A’s catcher Jonathan Lucroy, another former National Leaguer, also has a successful history against Richard, going 7-for-18 (.389) with two doubles and a homer. Authentic Womens Kalen Ballage Jersey
  5. HOUSTON — It required two minutes and 23 seconds for all the Rockets had worked for to be torn asunder Jake Ryan Jersey , for their unrelenting charge to the best record in the Western Conference to be rendered moot, and the home-court advantage that accompanied that accomplishment to be blithely negated through the handiwork of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. It took that long for Golden State to churn out a 12-2 run in the third quarter that yielded a double-digit lead and a stranglehold on Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Monday night at Toyota Center. The Rockets had labored down the stretch of the regular season to bypass the Warriors in the standings and guarantee that this anticipated series would open in Houston. In one two-plus-minute flash, the Warriors snuffed the Rockets and left them reeling. In the aftermath of their 119-106 victory, the Warriors were left basking in a triumph that included rare circumstances. It marked the first time since their opening-round series with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014 that the Warriors began a postseason series on the road, and, like that April 19 game at Staples Center, they met the challenge in road environs. Thompson remembered that game as well as the outcome of the subsequent contests in that series. So, while the Warriors welcomed the lauding, they were hasty to issue words of caution while attention shifted to Game 2, which will tip off on Wednesday night back at Toyota Center. “It was a great win Eddie Yarbrough Jersey , but this series is far from over,” said Thompson, who scored 28 points on 9-of-18 shooting. “I’ve been in this same situation, me and Draymond, before. We came out and won a tough game, and they (the Clippers) came back and beat us (138-98) in Game 2. “So, it’s natural to relax, but we’re not going to relax. We’re still not where we want to be, and we’ve got a long way to go.” Modesty aside, the Warriors don’t have nearly as far to go as the Rockets, who not only surrendered home court, they allowed Golden State to dictate the terms of the series opener. Houston breezed through the opening two rounds of the playoffs in part by displaying historically judicious ball security Jalen Richard Jersey , posting a turnover rate (9.8 per 100 possessions) that ranked as second-best in playoff history over the 41 years that turnovers have been an official statistic. In Game 1, the Rockets committed 16 turnovers and helped fuel the Warriors’ devastating transition offense. Golden State entered the series averaging 17.6 points per game in transition this postseason, far and away the best mark in the NBA. The Warriors scored 18 fast-break points in the opener, penalizing the Rockets’ surprising and sudden carelessness with the ball. “If you miss shots or if you turn the basketball over, they’re out,” said Rockets guard James Harden, who paired a game-high 41 points with seven assists but also posted four turnovers. “They’re getting dunks, they’re getting 3s. I’m not sure how many transition points they had, but it was too many. That’s what they thrive on. So, we’ve got to do a better job of not turning the basketball over, taking better shots, and getting back (defensively) and matching up.” The Warriors recorded a 60.6 effective field-goal percentage in the series opener Olivier Vernon Jersey , which was par for the course even against the Rockets’ exceptional defense. Golden State produced a 61.8 effective field-goal percentage during the team’s three regular-season meetings, the highest such mark against Houston by any opponent. However, it wasn’t that the Warriors shot efficiently but rather the number of wide-open looks they generated by ball movement. The Rockets rightfully claimed some responsibility, with a handful of blown defensive assignments resulting in uncontested shots for Thompson, Stephen Curry, and Nick Young. Combined, that trio shot 10 for 25 from behind the arc, with Thompson, in particular, burning the Rockets with open 3s after Houston was caught scrambling to defend multiple actions. “There’s too many times we had just mental lapses,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We either didn’t switch properly or we didn’t switch hard enough.” Houston could point to a myriad of other factors contributing to its demise, namely key role players P.J. Tucker Brandon Williams Jersey , Gerald Green, and Luc Mbah a Moute combining for seven points — two fewer than Young scored in 15 minutes off the Warriors bench — on 2-of-14 shooting. But what resonated were the miscues on both ends, fissures it can mend in advance of Game 2. The objective is clearer for the Warriors: avoid the Game 2 letdown that undermined their postseason hopes four years ago. “Nothing really changes,” said Durant, who scored a team-high 37 points. “We know it’s a long series, a seven-game series, so we know they’re going to come out with a lot of energy next game, try to even this thing up. So, we’ve just got to stay focused and be patient out there, and continue to keep playing hard.” Womens Ito Smith Jersey
  6. The unbridled enthusiasm about the eventual return to health of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has spread to Luck himself James Harrison Jersey , with Luck going on the record on Tuesday to say he’ll “absolutely” be ready for the start of the season. Something else that Luck said was far more intriguing. And concerning. Luck admitted that, during his still-ongoing rehab, he had a “little mental block” to throwing a regulation football. As explained on Wednesday’s PFT Live, Luck isn’t a golfer who can simply avoid using a club that’s giving him trouble. He’s got one tool in the kit, a full-sized NFL football bearing the autograph of the Commissioner and the words “The Duke.” Any NFL quarterback who ever has a “little mental block” when it comes to throwing a regulation NFL football has a very real and profound problem. And even though Luck has secretly thrown “The Duke” with his new head coach, Luck’s Tuesday appearance on the practice field included not a regulation-sized ball but a small high-school version of the same thing. And no one seems to be troubled by that. Here we are Bruce Smith Jersey , six weeks from the start of training camp. Nearly 18 months removed from the supposedly successfully outpatient shoulder surgery. And Luck can’t do what every other NFL quarterback currently can — make a series of relatively short throws with the kind of football used in an NFL game. While none of this means Luck won’t be ready to throw a full-sized football in a full-speed setting come September, none of it means that he will be, either. And I’ll continue to believe nothing that is said about (or, frankly, by) Luck, waiting instead to see him perform before concluding that he’s the guy he used to be. Andrew Luck is throwing footballs again. Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich said Tuesday that Luck has begun to throw as part of the rehab for his surgically repaired shoulder. Luck missed the entire 2017 season because of the injury. Reich said he hasn’t seen Luck in action yet Kiko Alonso Jersey , but the franchise quarterback is clearly making progress after spending time in California working with quarterback mechanics gurus Tom House and Adam Dedeaux. Luck led the Colts to 11 wins in each of his first three seasons and went to the Pro Bowl three times. He has missed 26 games in the past three seasons and Indianapolis hasn’t reached the playoffs since losing the AFC championship ”Deflategate” game to New England in January 2015. Luck is expected to participate when the Colts begin their workout program April 9. Reich was the offensive coordinator for the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles last season and helped Carson Wentz develop into an MVP candidate before he went down with a torn ACL. Backup Nick Foles stepped in and was sensational in the playoffs, earning Super Bowl MVP honors. Reich, who got the Colts job when Josh McDaniels backed out to return to New England as offensive coordinator, is excited to work with Luck, one of the NFL’s elite QBs when healthy. Reich spoke at his first league meetings as a head coach since replacing Chuck Pagano. The Colts were 4-12 last season but Reich saw the Eagles go from last place in 2016 to Super Bowl champs. ”No one is playing for second place,” Reich said. ”We’re not playing to just improve. We’re playing for championships. I’m not being paid (for rebuilding). There’s not one ounce of me that’s being patient. There’s not one ounce of me that thinks we’re in a rebuilding project. Every ounce of me feels like we’re winning this year. We were 4-12 last year. That can turn around with a few breaks Allen Bailey Jersey , staying healthy, a few more players and we can get it done.” The Colts will need Luck healthy to compete in the AFC South. Indianapolis made a big trade with the New York Jets to potentially add talented players who can contribute right away. The Colts moved down just three spots, from No. 3 to No. 6 overall in the draft, and acquired two second-round picks this year and one in 2019. Don’t expect them to draft one of the top quarterbacks in the draft class: Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield. ”I think it’s the best class I’ve ever seen Jamaal Williams Jersey ,” Reich joked. ”They should go 1-2-3-4.” — Womens Sam Hubbard Jersey
  7. Bill Lazor’s statistical study of the Bengals‘ offense during the offseason left him feeling the same as he did on all those discouraging game days. The numbers confirmed what his eyes had seen so many times. Some mighty small numbers filled up the columns measuring big plays. The Bengals were one of the most inept teams in the league at getting the ball downfield Chris Hogan Jersey , the main factor in a second straight losing season. ”Statistically, it looks just like it felt,” the Bengals’ offensive coordinator said. ”You were there.” The main emphasis in Lazor’s overhaul of the offense has been finding ways to get big plays out of an offense that finished last in total yards and near the bottom in big plays as well. It all begins with Andy Dalton, who is coming off one of his least-effective seasons. The eighth-year quarterback completed 69.9 percent of his passes and averaged 6.69 yards per attempt, both figures his worst since his rookie season. Dalton repeatedly was off-target on long passes. He also was under constant pressure, which limited the time for receivers to get open downfield and contributed to the lack of long passes. ”This group’s been one of the best groups in the NFL – since Andy came into the league – on vertical passes,” coach Marvin Lewis said. ”And we weren’t very good. So that alone is the first thing.” The 2015 season was Dalton’s best as he worked behind a veteran line. The Bengals had 63 pass plays of at least 20 yards, nine shy of the league high shared by the Saints and Jaguars. Last season, they managed only 34 such plays, a huge decline. The Saints led the league with 72 pass plays of 20 yards or more. The passing game wasn’t the only failed area. The Bengals’ longest run was only 25 yards, the worst in the league. Injuries played a role. Tight end Tyler Eifert hurt his back in the second game and was out for the rest of the season. Top draft pick John Ross was severely limited by two shoulder injuries and didn’t catch a pass. By contrast, every part of the offense – receivers, tight ends Robbie Gould Jersey , running backs – provided game-turning plays in 2015. ”Guys did a good job of making tough, contested catches,” Dalton said. ”I was being accurate with the ball, and guys were catching and running. I think there were probably some broken tackles in the run game and different things. It’s a big thing we want to do.” The Bengals failed to score a touchdown in their first two games last season and fired offensive coordinator Ken Zampese. Lazor took over as an interim coordinator, got the job after the season, and was given a lot of latitude to reinvent the offense. The new playbook provides many opportunities to try for a big play. ”It’s not on everything, but there’s definitely chances to take shots down the field,” Dalton said. The Bengals traded with the Bills for left tackle Cordy Glenn and drafted center Billy Price in the first round as part of their line overhaul. Ross is back and making impressive plays during camp. Eifert signed a one-year deal and was cleared to practice on Monday. There was no thought of bringing in someone to challenge Dalton, who has the backing of Lewis and owner Mike Brown. They’re hoping a solid line will give Dalton the time he needs to perform more like he did in 2015. ”When Andy came to us in 2011 up to now, our winning percentage is eighth in the league,” said Duke Tobin, director of player personnel. ”We’re confident in him leading our team. We have to be better in front of him than last year. We’ve got to put a better run game with him. ”We feel like we’ve got weapons on the outside and he should be in the prime of his career, so he’s going to have to lead the charge.” — Derrius Guice heard the rumors and wondered why he kept slipping in the NFL draft. Projected to be a first-round pick Morgan Cox Jersey , Guice talked to his agents, watched six other running backs get drafted and came away with no more answers. The end of his freefall came Friday night when the Washington Redskins selected the LSU running back late in the second round with the 59th overall pick. Guice was finally picked minutes after NFL Network reported some of his visits didn't go well and there were incidents in college NFL teams found out about. "It did surprise me because a lot of the things came out of nowhere and weren't true, and I just didn't understand why me out of all people because I'm great to everybody. I have a great personality and I just didn't understand why everything just hit so hard with me out of everybody," Guice said on a conference call. "I'm just thankful to know that this whole process is over with, that an organization believed in me and trusted in me and I'm just ready to get to work." Guice denied reports he got into an argument with Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and assistant head coach Duce Staley during his pre-draft visit to the defending Super Bowl champions. Guice said he had no idea about NFL Network suggesting there was another story possibly coming that could be embarrassing to him and the organization. "My trip to the Eagles was great," Guice said. "There wasn't an altercation when I went. It was great. They were also like family. Me and Duce have a great relationship." FM-97.5 in Philadelphia reported the argument. Former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook said Friday: "I think he got into a little bit of an argument with Howie, and quite possibly Deuce as well. I don't know that they all saw eye-to-eye." Coach Jay Gruden described Guice as a "character" with a lot of energy but came out of those meetings satisfied there weren't off-field character issues with the physical, 5-foot-11, 244-pound back. Eager to upgrade the fifth-worst rushing attack in the league, the Redskins met with Guice multiple times, took him after trading down and drafted Louisville offensive tackle Geron Christian with the 74th pick they acquired from San Francisco for No. 44. "We looked at the reports and talked to Derrius' agent and got a pretty good indication that we felt good about taking Derrius at that position," Gruden said. "Lucky to get him. This is a hard-nosed runner, plays hard Junior Seau Jersey , he can catch the football, he can pass protect, he's got good vision and a guy we really liked in early rounds." Senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams promised recently acquired quarterback Alex Smith he'd solve the team's running back problem. Guice joins a crowded backfield that also includes 2017 fourth-round pick Samaje Perine, third-down back Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley, who earned the starting job out of training camp last year. Detroit traded up to the 43rd pick, one ahead of the Redskins, and took another running back in Auburn's Kerryon Johnson. "I think there's some things that some teams are worried about in terms of some things in his history," Lions general manager Bob Quinn said, refusing to go into specifics. "There were some things. We met with Derrius. He's a good kid. There's some things that we were just a little concerned about." Guice said falling in the draft will only increase his motivation. "It's just a feeling that I have inside of me that I've already ran with since being little, and I just feel like it's gotten 10 times worse now," Gucie said. "I can't wait to be unleashed on the field." On the field, Guice led all SEC running backs with 1,387 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns despite starting just six games and set the conference record with three career 250-yard games. He does have durability concerns Matt Bosher Jersey , which combined with the reports of off-field problems likely contributed to him not being drafted higher. "I've been talking to (my agents) the whole time either and this is all news to them as well," Guice said. "It's all hitting them and me off guard and out of nowhere and we just don't know where it's coming from our how it happened. It just kind of happened." It was a tumultuous offseason for Guice, who changed agents and told SiriusXM Satellite Radio that at the combine one team asked him if he was gay and another asked if his mother "sells herself." The NFL conducted an investigation and found no evidence that any team asked Guice inappropriate questions. This is the highest pick the Redskins have used on a running back since Ledell Betts in 2002. They recouped the third-round pick traded to Kansas City for Smith when they acquired the 59th and 74th picks from San Francisco. "We felt the trade was needed," Gruden said. "We thought we could add a third-round pick, which was very critical for us." Gruden expects to keep Christian at tackle, opening up the possibility that Ty Nsekhe moves to left guard, where Washington has an opening. AP Sports Writer Noah Trister in Allen Park, Michigan, contributed. Authentic Womens Justin Reid Jersey
  8. Bears linebacker Roquan Smith missed nearly three weeks of training camp due to a fight over the specific circumstances that would result in his future guarantees being voided. The Bears proposed broad language that would have voided guarantees if Justin Evans Jersey , for example, Smith had been suspended for violating the new helmet rule or for getting into a fight while defending himself or a teammate. Smith and his agents refused to accept this broad term. A compromise finally has been reached. Per a source with knowledge of the deal, the two sides agreed to a specific formula that gives Smith protection against most of the potential incidents that would arise while he is in uniform and on a football field. As to anything that could happen during a play (for example, lowering the helmet, unnecessary roughness, illegal hit on a defenseless receiver, roughing the quarterback), Smith’s guarantees void only if the league office imposes a suspension of three games or more. Smith can be suspended one or two games for a violation of the rules that apply during a given play with no consequence to his future guarantees. He can be suspended one or two games multiple times with no consequence to his future guarantees. Smith loses the guarantees only if a suspension of three or more games is imposed on him. (Over the last decade Wil Lutz Jersey , that’s happened to only one player: Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict.) As to a potential suspension arising from something happening after a play, Smith’s guaranteed money will not void if he’s suspended for one game for an incident that occurs while defending himself or a teammate. While it’s possible that a disagreement could emerge — and an arbitration may be needed — as to whether Smith was or wasn’t the aggressor in a given situation, the Bears yielded on their prior position that they should have discretion to decide whether to void guarantees based on a post-play incident. Instead, Smith’s guarantees will void only if he’s suspended two games for a post-play infraction, or if he’s deemed to be the aggressor as to an incident resulting in a one-game suspension. In the end, the Bears found a way to keep the possibility of voiding the guarantees in play, and Smith received enough protection to make the possibility of an actual voiding of the guarantees unlikely. So it’s a win-win. The only loss is that it took so long to get to this point. Blake Snell and the surging Tampa Bay Rays are having success against some of the major’s best teams. Snell struck out 10, reliever Diego Castillo fanned Jose Altuve in a key spot and the Rays wrapped up an impressive homestand by beating the Houston Astros 3-2 Sunday. The Rays went 8-1 at Tropicana Field Kurt Coleman Jersey , taking three of four from the World Series champion Astros, sweeping three from the New York Yankees and winning both games against Washington. Tampa Bay set a team record by allowing no more than two runs in its sixth straight game. ”Everybody’s doing their part,” Snell said. Snell tied Hall of Famer Walter Johnson (1914) with his 11th consecutive home start allowing one or fewer earned runs for the longest stretch in the AL since 1913, according to Elias Sports Bureau. ”He’s pitched like an All-Star,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ”We knew we had a chance to have a special series and really special homestand, and I think he capped it off.” Matt Duffy hit a two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning that put the Rays ahead 2-1 and Mallex Smith homered in the eighth. Evan Gattis homered twice for Houston. The Astros went 0 for 14 during the series with runners in scoring position. ”We didn’t do enough to win the game or win the series.” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. Snell (11-4) allowed one run and four hits in 7 1/3 innings. The lefty has given up five earned runs over 51 2/3 innings (0.87 ERA) at home this season. Castillo replaced Snell with the bases loaded in the eighth with the Rays leading by a run. Castillo struck out Altuve in a 10-pitch at-bat and got a grounder from Yuli Gurriel to protect the lead. Sergio Romo got his eighth save despite allowing Gattis’ homer in the ninth. Charlie Morton (10-2) struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings. The Astros led 1-0 when he left with runners at first and second, and Duffy greeted Chris Devenski with a bloop single down the right-field line. Joey Wendle scored from first base when right fielder Josh Reddick hesitated before throwing the ball back to the infield. ”I just kind of froze Nazair Jones Jersey ,” Reddick said. ”There’s no excuse for screwing that up. I’ve got to get the ball in, and even if I throw it home early, we’re still playing the ball game right now.” Gattis, who had eight homers and 30 RBIs in June, put the Astros up 1-0 on his seventh-inning drive. Jake Marisnick had a potential run-scoring extra-base hit tracked down in deep center by Smith with two outs in the fifth. Smith’s homer was his first since last July 21, ending a 356 at-bat drought. ”I’m not worried about hitting home runs,” the speedy Smith said with a smile. ”I like to steal bases. Can’t steal bases when you hit homers.” TRAINER’S ROOM Astros: Gurriel returned after three days on the paternity list. . Reliever Joe Smith (right elbow soreness) could be back Tuesday. Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier was rested after making two diving catches Saturday. He dropped to 0 for 9, including eight strikeouts Jerry Rice Jersey , against Morton by going down swinging as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. SORE SPRINGER Astros RF George Springer was out of the lineup for the second time in three days after tumbling into the stands chasing a foul ball Saturday. Hinch said Springer is ”beat up a little bit.” Springer, mired in a 3-for-44 slide, was a pinch-runner in the ninth. DEADLINE DEALS The Rays could move veteran players like RHPs Nathan Eovaldi and Chris Archer, and C Wilson Ramos before the non-waiver trade deadline. Also attracting interest is Tampa Bay’s bullpen. ”I imagine our front office will do what they always do, and that’s look to do what’s best for the organization going forward,” Cash said. The Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals are among the teams with scouts in attendance recently. UP NEXT Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel (4-8) will go against Texas RHP Austin Bibens-Dirx (1-1) Tuesday night. Rays: Eovaldi (2-3) faces Miami LHP Wei-Yin Chen (2-5) Monday night. Womens Connor Williams Jersey
  9. When Bruce Irvin got a multimillion dollar signing bonus after being a first-round draft pick in 2012 Jahleel Addae Jersey , the idea of getting his college degree was the last thing on his mind. A former high school dropout who spent time in jail and dealing drugs while growing up in Atlanta, Irvin later decided to set an example for his 5-year-old son Brayden and show that he is more than just a professional athlete. "When kids come up to him, they can say that his dad was a good football player and he can stop them and say he was a good football player but he also got his associate's degree, got his bachelor's degree," Irvin said. "He wasn't only a football player. He put education up there right along with his job. It was bigger than me. It was for my son and his kids and generations after me." From the troublesome childhood that he detailed last year in a Player's Tribune article titled "The Things I've Done ," Irvin has developed into a leader on the Raiders and in the community, earning a nomination for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. He will have made more than $36 million playing football at the end of this season, winning one Super Bowl with Seattle and earning plenty of other accolades. But walking on stage to get his degree back in May goes right near the top of his accomplishments. "The odds were stacked up against me to get my bachelor's degree. It was a surreal moment," he said. "I kind of put it up there with the Super Bowl, neck and neck. Super Bowl probably would have been better if we'd won two in a row. It was a great moment Jameis Winston Jersey , not only for me but for my son and my family. I'm glad I got to experience it." Irvin was one of several NFL players who earned college degrees this offseason, taking advantage of a program negotiated in the collective bargaining agreement that provides tuition reimbursement for players seeking to continue their education. Players can earn up to $60,000 in tuition reimbursement based on their time in the league. Arthur McAfee, the senior vice president of NFL Player Engagement, said about two dozen players each year earn their degrees through the program. He added that the increased time off under the current collective bargaining agreement has made the process easier for players interested in getting their degrees. "We try to find the appropriate balance between the players having opportunity to go back as well as manage their offseason schedule," McAfee said. "The current format of the offseason schedule provides us with ample opportunity for players to find that time to work toward their degree." The most high-profile case this offseason was Kansas City Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who became the first active NFL player to get his medical degree when he earned his from McGill University in Montreal just over a year after signing a $41.25 million, five-year contract. "When I got drafted in 2014 it was a promise that I made to myself that I was going to keep grinding and keep pushing to combine my two passions at the highest level and show people it was possible," Duvernay-Tardif said. Duvernay-Tardif, a sixth-round pick in 2014 Jerome Baker Jersey , did most of his graduate work in the offseason, taking advantage of the increased time off for players provided in the current CBA. Duvernay-Tardif did take one orthopedic exam during a bye week in 2015, spending a flight back from London studying while his teammates celebrated. While some teams were wary of his desire to become a doctor, Duvernay-Tardif said Chiefs coach Andy Reid has always been extremely supportive. "Coach Reid it was the total opposite. It was like 'If you're here and you still have medicine as a plan B it's because you really love to play football and I'm going to help you to the best of my ability,'" Duvernay-Tardif said. "That's what he's been doing for the past four years. Every season at the end of the season during our exit meeting he's been asking me 'what's next for you doc?' and we've been talking about different clinical rotations and stuff. And his mother actually went to McGill University and was one of the first women to graduate in medicine, so there was a little bit of a connection and I really think that he helped me through the process. I don't think it would have been possible if it was not for him." The Raiders have also been extremely supportive of players pursuing their degrees in the offseason and got to watch four players don their caps and gowns over two weekends this offseason. Star receiver Amari Cooper (Alabama), starting right guard Gabe Jackson (Mississippi State) and backup tackle Jylan Ware (Alabama State) all graduated this offseason thanks to the tuition assistance and guidance from the team. Annelie Schmittel, who works on the Raiders player engagement staff, has been heavily involved in helping the players do what they need to graduate and even went to West Virginia for Irvin's ceremony earlier this offseason. She hopes the recent graduates serve as role models for young players just entering the league. "That's something no one can take away from them," Schmittel said. "It's great having guys like Amari Andre Holmes Jersey , Bruce, Gabe, starters on this team, veterans who have played in this league a long time and don't really need a degree but wanted to go back and finish what they started. That's incredible to see and for us to see because we're seeing the hard work that they put in. ... It's a really proud moment. We're really involved in it because it's such a huge accomplishment for us." Several other players also have gotten their degrees this offseason, including Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins, who got a business administration degree from Georgia, and Titans running back Derrick Henry, who graduated from Alabama. Henry's degree kept a promise he made to his late grandmother, who he honored in an article for the Player's Tribune . "Graduating is something that I've Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler says he didn’t miss a curfew or do anything off the field that would have hurt New England’s chances of winning the Super Bowl before he was benched for the game. In a statement released Tuesday on Twitter and Instagram, Butler says reports of misconduct off the field are ”ridiculous.” He says he visited with family every night while in Minneapolis. He adds Tommylee Lewis Jersey , ”I never attended any concert, missed curfew, or participated in any of the ridiculous activities being reported. They are not only false, but hurtful to me and my family.” Before the Super Bowl, Butler was on the field for 98 percent of the Patriots’ defensive snaps and started 17 of their 18 games. But he made it on the field for only one special teams play on Sunday as the Philadelphia Eagles racked up 538 yards of offense, including 374 yards passing, and won 41-33. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has not explained why Butler was benched. After the game, Butler told ESPN that he ”could have changed the game.” He also used a profanity and said the Patriots ”gave up” on him. In his statement, Butler apologized for the language he used ”during a very emotional time.” His statement was ”liked” on Instagram by teammates Tom Brady and Martellus Bennett. Butler is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. — Adidas Shayne Gostisbehere Jersey
  10. Andrew Luck feels as sore and tired as he expected four days into training camp. He’s also pain free – just as the Indianapolis Colts hoped. Luck passed his first major tests by returning to the practice field Adrian Phillips Jersey , taking all of his normal snaps during the Colts’ first two workouts, connecting with receivers on the run rather than throwing at stationary targets while feeling good physically and mentally. It’s a good start for the quarterback with the surgically repaired right shoulder. ”Every day there will be new hurdles,” he said Sunday. ”The second day, things seemed to calm down or slow down a lot. The first day I was nervous, I was excited and there was a certain element of the unknown. I wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen. It was also very fun to be out there with the guys and focus on getting better at practice and not just surviving practice.” The angst could be sensed all around the Colts’ new camp site earlier this week in Westfield, Indiana, a northern suburb of Indianapolis. Fans roared throughout Thursday’s opening workout Tony Gonzalez Jersey , even cheering when Luck was throwing to ball boys and quarterbacks. One fan shouted ”stay in that pocket” as Luck went through an individual drill designed to help all four quarterbacks evade oncoming pass rushers. Not surprisingly, the early jitters also impacted Luck’s performance. He was just 4 of 9 with an interception in his first 11-on-11 work since having a partially torn labrum fixed in January 2017. On Friday, he was 15 of 19 overall. He resumed throwing Sunday night, his first full practice in pads in nearly 20 months, and was 19 of 22 with two touchdowns in seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills. ”There have been four or five throws that have been like, `Oh yeah, that looks 100 percent like normal Anthony Hitchens Jersey ,”’ coach Frank Reich said before the evening workout. ”Then there have been one or two that we just need to work through and continue to get better.” Luck did not talk with reporters after those practices or Saturday when he left the field about halfway through Saturday’s practice at Grand Park Sports Campus – as scheduled. ”It’s weird, but this is the plan Frank and I and (general manager) Chris (Ballard) and everybody who helped came up with at the start. I know it’s helped me continue to get better and better and better,” Luck said. ”It is sort of a bit odd to reconcile `OK, I’m out here, but I don’t get to participate.” But after blaming his slow recovery at least partially on skipping steps in a rush to get back, he’s sticking to the plan this time. And Reich intends to hold him to that promise even though Luck is under no restrictions on the field. Luck still must pass a few more milestones such as throwing deep balls and taking hits. The wait may not be too long. Reich has said he expects Luck to play in the Colts’ preseason opener on Aug. 9 at Seattle, though Reich has not yet determined how much Luck will play. ”I’m going into this from the very start that he was full go Tre Madden Jersey , fully cleared for everything. We have some planned rest days, but in my mind the amount that he plays is he’s 100 percent in my mind,” Reich said. ”We will plan him playing accordingly based on how much we would want to play our starting quarterback.” Luck isn’t just starting to shake off the rust. With each successive practice, he seems to be picking up Reich’s newly installed offense better and continues to look stronger and more confident in the shoulder. ”It’s fun. What can I say? I had jitters like before a game for that first practice, which was a neat feeling. I hadn’t felt that way in a long time. It’s been responding well,” he said. ”No pain. Soreness, tiredness for sure and stresses on my arm that are different. Shoot Ronnie Lott Jersey , there are stresses on everybody’s body at this camp that are different.” Notes: Reich hopes to have injured offensive tackles Anthony Castonzo and Austin Howard back ”pretty soon.” Neither has practiced yet and only eight of the 15 offensive linemen practiced Saturday. … Offensive lineman Jack Mewhort returned to practice Sunday after getting an extra day off Saturday. … The evening practice was marred by a scuffle that began when right guard Matt Slauson instigated after he thought George Odum took an unnecessary hard shot on rookie running back Nyheim Hines. … Linebacker Anthony Walker left practice early with a groin injury. — BALTIMORE (AP) — A rookie Baltimore Ravens kicker from Norway has been hospitalized after an apparent assault in an impoverished Baltimore neighborhood. Police and the team confirmed that Kaare Vedvik was injured early Saturday. The Ravens said Vedvik was being treated for head injuries. T.J. Smith, a city police spokesman, said in a statement that police were investigating. Smith said Vedvik was found suffering from “upper-body injuries” around 4 a.m. in northeast Baltimore and was taken to a hospital. The injuries are not considered life-threatening. The statement said it was unclear how Vedvik’s injuries occurred. No arrests have been made. Vedvik was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list on Saturday. He made a 56-yard field goal in the Ravens’ preseason finale on Thursday, but would have been a long shot to make the roster with Justin Tucker as the longtime starter at kicker. Womens Sam Darnold Jersey
  11. They have a new quarterback and a new middle linebacker. They've released veterans C. J. Prosise Jersey , traded away one of the top cornerbacks in the league, signed wisely in free agency and loaded up on draft picks. Sounds like a losing franchise trying to turn things around. Try the two-time and defending AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs. The slew of offseason moves began even before free agency, when the Chiefs agreed to trades that sent quarterback Alex Smith to the Redskins and cornerback Marcus Peters to the Rams. But the pace of the dealing has hardly slowed down as the Chiefs remake an aging and expensive roster that was good enough to reach the playoffs last season but not good enough to beat Tennessee in the wild-card round. That's why they signed wide receiver Sammy Watkins, cornerback David Amerson and middle linebacker Anthony Hitchens, and landed cornerback Kendall Fuller in the trade with Washington. "We're not trying to win a Super Bowl four years from now. We're going out there and we're trying to win a Super Bowl next year," Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said. "Whether that happens, I don't know, but I know that we're going to do everything we can to put our team in position to do so." Many teams coming off back-to-back division titles would try to hold on a little longer. And the result would be a slow regression that would ultimately force the team to begin a complete rebuilding job anyway. Veach, who took over for John Dorsey last summer Ali Marpet Jersey , took a refreshingly different tack. He went after the trade market, was decisive in his convictions and landed his biggest priorities, even if he may have had to pay a premium to get Watkins and Hitchens in the door. It was a sign the candid, confident Veach is going to be a far different GM than his predecessors in Kansas City. "If we have shortcomings," Veach said, "we'll continue to work on those things. Our mindset is at every period to get our team in a position to win a Super Bowl. We have a lot of talent here. It's a lot of young talent, which is exciting for the fans, but we realize there may be some growing pains. But we have some guys that can straight up play football, and that's exciting." There is no doubt an abundance of talent Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Jersey , especially on offense. Patrick Mahomes II is poised to take over for Smith under center, and he showed flashes of his big arm and gamesmanship in a Week 17 victory over Denver. To ease the transition, the Chiefs added Watkins to what is arguably the best set of skill-position players in the division, headlined by NFL rushing king Kareem Hunt, Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce and speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill. They also retained one of their own when they brought back bruising fullback Anthony Sherman. "As a team, we've won a lot of games in the last few years," Mahomes said, "and we're bringing a lot of those guys back. And with the additions that we have added, I feel like we can have a very Antonio Garcia Jersey , very good offense. It's all going to start with how we prepare, especially at my position." Yes, the Chiefs expected to have a very good offense, just as they did last season. But one of the big challenges this offseason has been to fix a defense that ranked among the worst in the league. Hitchens was a good first step, and he'll step in to the void created by the release of the aging Derrick Johnson, the franchise's career tackles leader. Amerson and Fuller will help to cover the trade of Peters, and the draft picks netted this offseason will almost certainly be used on defense. Still, the question remains: Is that enough to make an appreciable improvement? "We've got a great nucleus coming back. We've added some players that are top-notch," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said last week. "We're fired up about this whole thing. I'm not great at standing up and going Brent Urban Jersey , 'Hey, here we go!' But I'm ready to roll as we're sitting here in March." The Los Angeles Rams will get to make up for lost time with eight picks on Day 3 of the NFL draft on Saturday. With four picks in both the fourth and sixth rounds, the Rams will have plenty of chances to address needs in the defensive front seven. The Rams have to replace outside linebackers Robert Quinn and Connor Barwin, who combined for 13.5 sacks last season, and inside linebacker Alec Ogletree, who led the team with 95 tackles. Head coach Sean McVay identified replenishing depth throughout the roster as another goal, something they accomplished with their lone selection so far by taking TCU offensive tackle Joe Noteboom in the third round. Noteboom could serve as the swing tackle while being groomed as the eventual successor to Andrew Whitworth at left tackle. Special teams contributions will also be a priority as several core players are expected to fill larger roles this season. __ Womens Chukwuma Okorafor Jersey
  12. Mitch Marner led the charge on a night full of milestones for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Marner had a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to 10 games and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Wednesday night to set a franchise record with their 46th win. Toronto also set a high-water mark with its 27th home win. The Philadelphia Flyers held off the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 later Wednesday Jerry Rice Jersey , keeping the Leafs from clinching a playoff spot for at least one more night. ”Those things are all nice to get,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said of the records. ”But we’ve got bigger plans. We’re just moving along and trying to get better. This is a good win, it gives you confidence. James van Riemsdyk added his 35th goal – and the 200th career – for Toronto, while Auston Matthews and Patrick Marleau added their 30th and 25th goals, respectively. Frederik Andersen made 30 saves and set a career high with his 36th victory. Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice, and Evgenii Dadonov also scored for Florida, which got 31 stops from Roberto Luongo, including a couple of big ones early. Both Huberdeau and Dadonov hit the 25-goal mark. Florida, meanwhile Byron Maxwell Jersey , remains three points back of New Jersey for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference, with one game in hand. ”These are the games you’re judged on,” Florida coach Bob Boughner said. ”This team’s been pretty consistent for the second half of the season, and tonight for 20 minutes we weren’t.” Toronto came out flying after having its club-record home winning streak snapped at 13 by last-place Buffalo on Monday. Luongo stopped van Riemsdyk on a breakaway, then robbed Tyler Bozak of what looked like a sure goal with a blocker save. The Leafs broke through at 3:05, when Marner was quickest to his own rebound off the end boards to get his 21st. Luongo thwarted another chance by Bozak from the slot later in the period, but could do nothing when Matthews beat him five-hole on what turned into a 4-on-2 rush with the Panthers caught gambling at 9:24. ”Wanted to shoot it high and then at the last moment he was kind of standing up, so at the last second I let up a little bit and was able to sneak it in five-hole,” Matthews said. ”I think he was guessing glove Josh Sitton Jersey , and that’s where I thought I was going.” Matthews scored 40 goals last season as a rookie but has missed 20 games this season with various injuries. He joins van Riemsdyk and Nazem Kadri (30) in the Leafs’ 30-goal club this season. Toronto made it 3-0 at 13:55 when Marner wheeled off the boards and found a wide-open Marleau for a tap-in. Marner has four goals and nine assists in his point streak and 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists) in his last 20 games. ”It’s been fun,” Marner said. ”This team is feeling confident.” Marleau, meanwhile, tied Frank Mahovlich for 33rd on the NHL’s career list with the 533rd goal. Florida cut the deficit to 3-1 at 17:49 of the first when Huberdeau took advantage of Zach Hyman’s miscue in the Leafs zone and zipped in his 24th. Desperate for points in their playoff chase, the Panthers couldn’t capitalize on a 37-second 5-on-3 early in the second before Andersen robbed Huberdeau with a diving glove save after one of the penalized Leafs had returned. Huberdeau scored at 15:08 when he picked the top corner on Andersen after Aaron Eklad hit the post midway through the period for Florida, which was 13-3-1 over its previous 17 coming into Wednesday. In the third, Luongo shot out his pad to rob van Riemsdyk again, but the big forward found his own rebound while getting slammed to the ice at 11:48. Van Riemsdyk has nine goals and three assists in his last eight games. Dadonov poked goal past Andersen on a rebound with 1:26 left. NOTES: Andersen won 35 games with Anaheim in 2014-15. … Tomas Plekanec assisted on Marner’s opener for his first point in 13 games since coming over in a trade with Montreal. … The Leafs won 45 games in 1998-99 Marcus Williams Jersey , 1999-00 and 2003-04, and secured 44 victories in both 1992-93 and 2002-03, but those seasons all came before the NHL instituted the shootout to break ties. Toronto leads the NHL with seven shootout victories this season. … The Leafs’ previous high of 26 home wins came in 2005-06. … UP NEXT Panthers: Visit Ottawa on Thursday night. Maple Leafs: Play at the New York Islanders on Friday night before coming home to host Winnipeg on Saturday night. — The Seattle Seahawks released quarterback Trevone Boykin on Tuesday shortly after his girlfriend alleged in a television interview that he physically assaulted her in Texas last week. The practice squad player was released from the team after WFAA-TV in Dallas posted an interview with Boykin’s girlfriend detailing an assault she alleges happened on March 20 in Mansfield, just southwest of Dallas. The woman said she refused to show Boykin a text message and an argument ensued, and that he broke her jaw and tried to strangle her. Boykin, 24, denied the allegations in a statement released Tuesday to NFL Media. He called the allegations false and said he wasn’t involved in a physical fight. ”This woman has lied about me and it has cost me my job,” he wrote. ”I understand the Seahawks decision to release me. The story that was reported casts a bad light on the organization and on me.” Boykin’s agent, Drew Pittman Marshawn Lynch Jersey , also told WFAA that the allegations were false. A call to the agent’s cellphone by The Associated Press went unanswered Tuesday. Mansfield police spokesman Sgt. Michael Midkiff said the department is investigating the alleged assault. He said no charges had been filed as of Tuesday and that the investigation was in a very early stage. The assault allegation is the latest off-field issue for Boykin, who has spent his NFL career with Seattle. He was arrested in Dallas last year when a vehicle he was a passenger in hit several people on a sidewalk. He fled the scene on foot but was later arrested on misdemeanor charges of public intoxication and possession of marijuana. In 2015, Boykin was arrested for assaulting a police officer and public intoxication shortly before the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio during his senior season at TCU. Boykin, who was the team’s quarterback, was suspended for the bowl game. — Associated Press Sports Writer Tim Booth contributed to this report from Seattle. Adidas Duncan Keith Jersey
  13. Police in Milton O. J. Howard Jersey , Georgia have released reports about three visits to Bills running back LeSean McCoy‘s house in response to calls about domestic disputes prior to the home invasion that left his ex-girlfriend injured this week. The first report, via Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic, comes from July 2017 when police found McCoy outside the house with a “large mound” of clothing and personal items. McCoy said that he and Delicia Cordon had broken up and that Cordon was refusing to return jewelry loaned to them by jewelers for events. Officers reported no signs of violence and that McCoy said he was concerned Cordon would make “false accusations” while noting that he was being “very careful” around her in light of the “climate of domestic abuse in his profession.” Officers told McCoy he could not kick Cordon out without formal eviction proceedings and that he should have witnesses around for further interactions given his concerns. The police report from this week’s home invasion called it a “targeted” attack and noted that “the suspect demanded specific items from the victim.” Cordon’s attorneys said those items were pieces of jewelry that were given as gifts to her client before McCoy asked for them back. An April 2018 call involved an argument between McCoy and Cordon regarding McCoy’s attempts to remove furniture from the house. There was no report of physical violence and the furniture was returned. On June 1, 2018, police again went to the house after Cordon called them from Virginia and said she saw people moving things out of the house via a surveillance camera app on her phone. They found McCoy’s mother at the house and informed her that she could not remove what was considered “communal property” from the residence unless directed by civil court ruling. The officer spoke to McCoy on the phone and said the running back told him he would start that process. OAKLAND RAIDERS (6-10) New faces: Coach Jon Gruden, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, WR Jordy Nelson, WR Martavis Bryant Steve Bartkowski Jersey , RB Doug Martin, CB Rashaan Melvin, CB Daryl Worley, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, LB Derrick Johnson, S Marcus Gilchrist, LB Emmanuel Lamur, LB Tahir Whitehead K.J. Wright Jersey , WR Ryan Switzer, OL Breno Giacomini, FB Keith Smith, DL Tank Carradine, OL Kolton Miller, DT Maurice Hurst, DE Arden Key, DT P.J. Hall. Key losses: Coach Jack Del Rio Takkarist McKinley Jersey , WR Michael Crabtree, RT Marshall Newhouse, LB NaVorro Bowman, CB TJ Carrie, CB Sean Smith, CB David Amerson, P Marquette King, S Obi Melifonwu. Strengths: Few teams invested more in interior of offensive line than Raiders with center Rodney Hudson Nathan Peterman Jersey , guards Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson. Gruden seeks power-running offense with Marshawn Lynch behind trio. Successful run game could open up play-action passing game for QB Derek Carr. Carr seeks bounce back from down season plagued by back injury, unimaginative offense. Weaknesses: Secondary full of questions for coordinator Guenther. CB Gareon Conley struggled to stay healthy since being drafted in first round in 2017. Melvin had strong season with Indianapolis last year but only got one-year, prove-it contract. Safeties have mix of unproven young players and aging ones. 2016 first-round pick Karl Joseph yet to develop into playmaker. Reggie Nelson brought back at age 34 but seemed to be step slow last year. Marcus Gilchrist provides versatility with ability to cover slot. Fantasy Players To Watch: WR Amari Cooper. Considered top receiver heading into last year. Cooper had career lows with 48 catches for 680 yards in 2017. Raiders believe he can get back to 1,000-yard level from first two seasons. Red-zone favorite Crabtree let go this offseason, possibly creating more TD chances for Cooper. Vegas Says: Super Bowl 35-1. Over/under wins 8. Expectations: Return of Gruden brings optimism to Raiders fans who have had just two winning seasons since he left following 2001. Fans turned out in big numbers in preseason despite team getting ready to move to Las Vegas in 2020. Questions remain about how Gruden will fare after nine seasons away from sideline. He seeks return to power football and old-school styles successful in first stint. Gruden likely adding new modern wrinkles to offense as well. Best move might be hiring of Guenther, which gives Raiders first proven DC in years and could provide big boost to defense, especially if star edge rusher Khalil Mack ends holdout. Womens Taven Bryan Jersey
  14. The New York Giants have signed safety Michael Thomas B.J. Goodson Jersey , who spent the last five seasons in Miami. The move reunites Thomas with Lou Anarumo, his position coach with the Dolphins. Anarumo joined coach Pat Shurmur's staff as the defensive backs coach. Thomas is the seventh defensive player added by New York in the last two weeks, joining linebackers Alec Ogletree and Kareem Martin, defensive backs Teddy Williams, Curtis Riley and B.W. Webb; and defensive tackle Josh Mauro. Thomas played in 13 games last season with two starts. He had 16 tackles, plus seven special teams tackles. Thomas entered the NFL with San Francisco in 2012 as a free agent out of Stanford. He spent that season and most of 2013 on the practice squad. The Lions drafted Kerryon Johnson in the second round believing he is a three-down back. That doesn’t mean they want to use the former Auburn star that way. The Lions signed LeGarrette Blount in free agency K.J. Wright Jersey , and they return Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah, the team’s leading rushers from last season. But Detroit, which ranked last in rushing last season, trusts that it finally has drafted a running back who can live up to the hype. 鈥淗e鈥檚 a guy that鈥檚 a three-down player,鈥?running backs coach David Walker said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. 鈥淸At Auburn Davis Webb Jersey , he] showed he can play on first, second and third down. He showed he can play in all situations, which was important for us. Very productive in a very good league. So you see the physical qualities, the flexibility in terms of how you can use a guy like that, and then you have a chance to meet him and see how smart and driven he is. He鈥檚 kind of the type of player that fits with our program because he鈥檚 smart, he showed he鈥檚 productive and then he has flexibility in terms of first Fred Warner Jersey , second, third downs.鈥?/p> Johnson led the SEC in rushing last season with 1,391 yards, playing in an offense that passed less than 40 percent of the time. He joins an offense that threw 58 percent of the time last year, according to Birkett. Lions General Manager Bob Quinn expects to use Johnson “more to run outside” than inside like Johnson did at Auburn. 鈥淚鈥檝e grew up in the southeast, know a bunch of people from the southeast and I鈥檝e watched a lot of SEC football over the years Mike Evans Jersey ,鈥?offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said. 鈥淚t sure was fun to watch him compete on those Saturdays when we鈥檙e maybe making a road trip or at the hotel doing whatever we do. Came to respect him as a competitor and we鈥檙e going to throw him in here and see if he can get better, see how he does.鈥?/p> Authentic Womens Keke Coutee Jersey
  15. FOXBOROUGH Jason McCourty Jersey , Mass. (AP) — Philadelphia Eagles defensive backs Malcolm Jenkins and De’Vante Bausby remained in the tunnel during the national anthem before the Super Bowl rematch against the New England Patriots, a week after raising their fists in protest in the exhibition opener. Defensive lineman Michael Bennett remained in the locker room Thursday night, NBC Philadelphia reported on Twitter . A picture tweeted by the station showed Jenkins and Bausby bowing their heads as they looked out toward the field. Jenkins and Bennett have been among the most vocal NFL players protesting racial inequality during the pregame playing of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” The NFL Network tweeted a video of Jenkins coming out for warmups wearing a shirt that said, “YOU AREN’T LISTENING.” There were no player protests before the other two preseason games: Jets-Redskins in Landover, Maryland, and Steelers-Packers in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Most if not all NFL contracts now contain a term that results in any suspension of the player wiping out future remaining guaranteed payments. For Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston Lee Smith Jersey , his three-game suspension allows the team to avoid nearly $4 million in 2018 compensation, if he’s cut before a roster bonus becomes earned on the fifth day of training camp. But with $20.9 million in 2019 salary currently guaranteed for injury only, Winston doesn’t have to worry about that guarantee evaporating. By rule, teams can’t undercut via individualized negotiation the terms applicable to the fifth-year option for first-round draft picks. So the Bucs remain on the hook for $20.9 million in 2019, if any injury to Winston in 2018 keeps him from passing a physical before the payment becomes fully guaranteed in March. Likewise, as of March, the $20.9 million becomes fully guaranteed. If anything Adrian Clayborn Jersey , the looming balloon payment could make the team more inclined to consider moving on from Winston now, since that would ensure that $25 million will remain in ownership’s coffers. A decision to give Winston one more season to justify the fifth-year option or a long-term deal could blow up on the Bucs, especially if there’s an ACL tear or other serious injury in training camp, the preseason, or the regular season. Regardless of whether the Buccaneers are willing to take a stand on principle when it comes to Winston’s transgressions with an Uber driver in March 2016, these business realities could push the needle toward making a decision that could be sold as doing “the right thing,” even if the driving force becomes doing the smart thing financially. Then there’s a potential middle ground. The Buccaneers could extend Winston’s contract in a way that wipes out the injury guarantee for 2019 Ryan Quigley Jersey , replacing it with (for example) a large roster bonus due on the third day of the next league year. This would ensure that Winston either will get the money or head to market early in free agency, and it would protect the Bucs against the worst-case scenario of a fluke training-camp injury costing them $25 million. Why would Winston agree to give up his injury guarantee? If the “or else” consists of the Buccaneers cutting him, Winston would be thrust onto the market at a time when every other team is set at quarterback. Given his suspension and the potential P.R. fallout for any team that would sign him, Winston’s best play possibly would be to accept whatever alternative offer the Bucs put on the table, since it will likely be better than anything else another team would offer — and since the Bucs would be the only team offering a clear path to return as the starter after the suspension concludes. In their 42-year history, the Buccaneers have never signed a quarterback the team drafted to a second contract. This would be an unusual way to make history, but it could be the kind of win-win that gives Winston a fair deal Jimmy Graham Jersey , that fairly protects the organization, and that potentially helps keep employed the G.M. who picked Winston over Marcus Mariota. Adidas Daniel Sedin Jersey
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