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Posted: 1/17/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
If Ben Roethlisberger was motivated by the trash-talk coming from players like Jalen Ramsey since the last meeting between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Jacksonville Jaguars Vance McDonald Jersey , it did not show through the first three quarters on Sunday afternoon. Indeed, the Pro Bowl cornerback seemed to be proving his point early in the game, recording two interceptions before the Steelers had even managed their first points of the day. With Roethlisberger’s struggles obvious to everyone, it appears the Jacksonville defenders were not shy about piling on the beleaguered quarterback with a barrage of trash-talk. However, it seems their words may not have had their desired effect after all. Rather than get in his head, it turns out their smack-talk actually inspired him, as Roethlisberger told reporters after the game.Lighting a fire under any NFL quarterback is never really a good idea Joe Haden Color Rush Jersey , let alone a future Hall of Farmer with an army of weapons at his disposal. Whatever was said somehow helped flick a switch heading into the fourth quarter and Steelers’ fans can ultimately thank linebacker Telvin Smith (#50) for he part he played in the win.While the rest of his teammates are not adverse to some verbal-sparring of their own, Roethlisberger does not normally indulge in this type of banter. Preferring to do his talking on the scoreboard, Big Ben clearly had the last laugh this time. When the Pittsburgh Steelers released backup quarterback Landry Jones before the start of the season in favor of Josh Dobbs and Mason Rudolph, countless “experts” among the team’s beat writing community went out of there way to criticize the Steelers’ management for the decision. However, despite all the ridiculous praise heaped on him by many in the local press on his way out of the door, it was clear the rest of the NFL did not appear to share their belief in the quarterback.Since being released by Pittsburgh, Jones has seemingly had tryouts with most of the league to no avail https://www.steelerssportshop.com/James-Washington-Jersey , but finally a team has emerged desperate enough for his services after the Jacksonville Jaguars announced they had signed him to their 53-man roster on Wednesday.With Blake Bortles arguably one of the few starters in the NFL that Landry Jones could legitimately contend that he is better than, landing in Jacksonville could be the perfect place for Jones to resurrect his career. While Bortles is reportedly dealing with a shoulder injury, it is expected he will still play when the team returns from their bye in Week 10, with the former Steelers’ backup has be added in insurance just in case.Given the Jaguars already have Cody Kessler on the roster as the primary backup to Bortles, it may also be worth noting that Jacksonville faces Pittsburgh in Week 11. Signing a player who was previously on the roster of an upcoming opponent just to tap them for information is far from unheard of and it would not be a surprise to see Jones looking for another new home after the Jaguars have played the Steelers in a few weeks.
Posted: 1/17/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Joe Staley has become the Susan Lucci of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. The NFL named the 49ers offensive tackle a finalist for the award https://www.thesaintsfanshop.com/Alex-Anzalone-Jersey , the fourth consecutive year he has made it to the final eight.So maybe this is his time.He will have to beat out Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Ravens safety Eric Weddle from the AFC and Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Washington tight end Vernon Davis and Packers cornerback Tramon Williams in the NFC.Davis and Gates are finalists for a second consecutive year Khairi Fortt Jersey , with Davis earning three career nominations.Each team selected a nominee for the fifth annual award. The league will reveal the winner the night before the Super Bowl at NFL Honors.Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald won the first award, followed by Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson, Colts running back Frank Gore and Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly. Saints quarterback Drew Brees knew early on in Sunday’s win over the Eagles that he’d be progressing past his first and second options.Brees said this week that within a few plays of the game, he could see that the Eagles’ priority was covering Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara Tommylee Lewis Color Rush Jersey , that he was going to have to go elsewhere, and he told the Saints’ other receivers they needed to be ready to have a big game.“Right after the first drive, where they doubled Mike like three plays in a row and they doubled Alvin like three plays in a row, I went over to the sideline and I said https://www.thesaintsfanshop.com/Michael-Hoomanawanui-Jersey , 鈥楳ike be patient, your opportunities will come. And you young guys: you guys are the matchups, the ball’s coming to you. So get ready. We’re gonna have a big day,'” Brees told ESPN.The primary beneficiary of that was wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith Josh LeRibeus Jersey , a third-round rookie who exploded for 10 caches and 157 yards against the Eagles. Smith said after the game that he was “so happy” Brees trusted him enough to keep going back to him. Brees seems to feel confident that he can beat opposing defenses know matter which receivers they try to take away.
Posted: 1/17/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
The Southern California wildfires forced 45 Rams employees to evacuate Los Angeles Rams Customized Jerseys , coach Sean McVay said Friday. Around 20 players and coaches were affected, including defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and defensive line coach Bill Johnson.After the fire crossed Highway 101, a mandatory evacuation was ordered for Malibu and 鈥渁ll areas south of 101 Freeway from Ventura County line to Las Virgenes Road.”The Rams, who train at Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks, canceled practice Friday as a result.“Everybody is OK,” McVay said in quotes distributed by the team. “I knew that there was going to be a bunch of guys that ended up having to leave their houses just based on the way that those fires spread and that are living in those areas that were affected by it. . . . I don’t think anybody’s houses has specifically been affected in terms of [burning down] https://www.ramsfanstore.com/t-shirts , but they did have to leave the areas. For us, which is all the things that are considered knowing that how some of the road closings, the quality of the air potentially, we just felt like most importantly was for the guys to be with their families, their wives, their kids and kind of be that support structure and do things the right way and not have them come in Los Angeles Rams Hats , be totally distracted, like I know I would be if I was in their role.”The Rams will practice at USC on Saturday.The wildfires are a second blow to the area this week after the mass shooting at a Thousand Oaks bar. The Rams plan to honor the victims and survivors of that tragedy Sunday, with the game still currently set to be played.“I think, if anything, the last couple days give you perspective,” McVay said. 0:57 - “And joining us for the first time and maybe last time ever...the Professor.”4:50 - It’s Week 13. The Los Angeles Rams at the Detroit Lions. Is it a...TRAP GAME?!7:33 - The Rams’ defense is bad Los Angeles Rams Hoodie , but it’s not really bad. Well, it could be considered bad. But by 2018 standards it’s not. But it kinda is. But also don’t forget that it’s not. But it might be. But given who we’ve played, it probably isn’t. Unless it is.10:30 - “The Detroit Lions are essentially a garbage team”11:26 - The Professor points out that the New Orleans Saints play the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, and that will have a huge impact on the framing of the Rams’ game on Sunday.12:14 - “It feels like right now we’re playing against the New Orleans Saints [every week].”12:45 - Which team in the NFC is it more surprising to see with just four wins: the Green Bay Packers or the Atlanta Falcons?19:07 - How many points do the Rams need to win by for you to feel comfortable with the result?20:12 - Play like champions. Act like champions. Dress like champions? Smell like champions? Can QB Jared Goff lead the Rams through the playoffs if he uses Axe?21:39 - Which player on the Rams has his own line of soap? (Sebastian Joseph-Day absolutely doesn’t)23:40 - The Professor owns Rams soap. And Rams cologne. Whatever the hell that is.24:30 - CB Aqib Talib rejoins the team off of IR. How does his return impact things? The TSR team goes deep into this Sunday and the state of the Rams heading into Week 13.38:21 - “I WANNA SEE MUNDT.”38:48 - Who benefits most from the absence of WR Cooper Kupp: WR Josh Reynolds or the Rams’ tight end duo of Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett?43:57 - X-factors. Joey takes RB Malcolm Brown. Rob-o goes with EDGE Samson Ebukam. The Prof takes PR JoJo Natson, Jr. 3k takes LG Rodger Saffold.46:25 - Which team would the Rams not match up well against in the playoffs? Joey takes the Minnesota Vikings while the other three take the Seattle Seahawks.58:40 - USC has decided to keep Head Coach Clay Helton around despite a 5-7 season and a, uh https://www.ramsfanstore.com/Ethan-Westbrooks-Jersey , bye week during bowl season. The Professor laments what his alma mater is doing while Rob-o, a UCLA grad, celebrates.1:01:45 - Are all father-in-laws Michigan Men?1:05:24 - Final thoughts.Bonus easter egg - “I would get a prescription of Ambien and take the whole bottle.”iTunesAndroid/GoogleArt19SpotifyStitcher
Posted: 1/17/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
MIAMI (AP) — Ryan Tannehill was heading out the door when someone noted the predicted high temperature of 83 for Sunday’s game between the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.“Not quite hot enough Kyle Van Noy Color Rush Jersey ,” Tannehill responded with a smile.Turn up the heat. That’s what the Dolphins tend to do when the Patriots play in Miami.While New England has dominated Miami — and everyone else — in the AFC East over the past decade, the reverse has been true lately when the teams meet in South Florida.The Dolphins have won four of the past five home meetings, including 27-20 last December when Jay Cutler outplayed Tom Brady.Oddsmakers expect the trend to end, with New England (9-3) a touchdown favorite over Miami (6-6).Here are things to know as the Patriots attempt to clinch their 10th consecutive division title:TOUGH PLACE TO PLAYIn recent years the Patriots have had worse results in Miami than anywhere else, and New England coach Bill Belichick blames the Dolphins.“They’ve got a good football team,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of good players.”That’s fine, coach, except that in Foxborough, your team has won 10 in a row against Miami by an average score of 33-13. That includes a 38-7 victory earlier this season. And in the standings, the Dolphins have been perennial also-rans to your dynasty.Belichick and his players discount the South Florida climate as a factor, but it does favor the Dolphins, with teams from the north tending to wilt in the warm weather.“Sometimes it hits some of these teams pretty hard,” Miami coach Adam Gase said.The bad news for the Dolphins is that forecasters don’t anticipate the heavily favored Patriots will take the game lightly — not with the annoyance this week of constant questions about their recent results in Miami.“The last few times we’ve played them down there, we haven’t played very well,” running back James White acknowledged Chris Hogan Jersey , “so I think that’s enough motivation.”ANOTHER CHANCEAfter a quiet day when the teams met in September, Miami receiver Danny Amendola is itching for another crack at his former team, but he has been nursing a knee injury and missed last week’s win over Buffalo.Amendola became one of Brady’s favorite targets during his five seasons in New England. He is in his first year with Miami after signing a $12 million, two-year contract and leads the team in catches and yards receiving.Patriots safety Patrick Chung said Amendola was always a handful in practice.“Danny’s the man,” Chung said. “He’s a small dude, but he’s stronger than you think and he’s feisty. He’s going to be ready for us.”EVOLVING IDENTITYEarly this season, opponents took advantage of a New England defense that struggled to get pressure up front and was susceptible in the secondary to big plays. The Patriots appear to be tightening up at the right time. They haven’t allowed a 300-yard passer in five consecutive games, or a 100-yard rusher in nine consecutive games.That’s a vast improvement for a unit that gave up 30 or more points three times in the first seven games, including a season-high 40 in narrow win over Kansas City.Belichick said the improvement is part of an evolving identity in the first season with linebackers coach Brian Flores making defensive calls.COMEBACK QBTannehill has a passer rating of 112.7 with five touchdowns and one interception in two games since returning from an injury to his throwing shoulder. The performances come amid growing speculation about whether the Dolphins will bring him back next season.“I have a long way to go to get where I want to be,” he said. “I think I’m doing all right, but a lot of plays I’d like to be better at. I think we have a lot better football in front of us as an offense.”MILESTONE WATCHBrady enters Sunday tied with Peyton Manning for the most touchdown passes in NFL history, including playoffs.Manning and Brady both have 579 TD tosses, followed by Brett Favre (552) and Drew Brees (547). The 508 regular-season touchdown passes by Brady and Favre trail Manning (539) and Brees (518) on the career list. Danny Amendola returns to Gillette Stadium with the undefeated Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Brandin Cooks just had a superb receiving game for the Los Angeles Rams in their fourth straight win Thursday night.The New England Patriots, meanwhile, are sitting at 1-2 and looking for answers at wide receiver as they get set to play the fourth game of Julian Edelman’s four-game performance-enhancers suspension.Asked Friday if it is frustrating to see his receivers go elsewhere and have success Stephon Gilmore Color Rush Jersey , Tom Brady said, “Not really. I’m happy for those guys.”“Usually when you leave it’s because you get good opportunities in other places,” he added. “I’m usually generally frustrated by football in general just because it’s a frustrating sport. But I’m sort of happy for guys when they do well.”Brady said he didn’t watch Cooks catch seven passes for 116 yards and a touchdown in the Rams’ win, saying only, “They have a good team. To be undefeated you have to be good.”Through that Thursday game, Cooks, traded to Los Angeles for a first-round draft pick that turned into now-injured offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn, has 26 catches 鈥?two more than the New England wide receivers combined.Phillip Dorsett, Chris Hogan and Cordarrelle Patterson have combined for 24 grabs, 230 yards and three touchdowns. Cooks has almost twice as many yards, 452, as the Patriots, and has scored the one TD on Thursday.Amendola, who left the Patriots via free agency, has 11 catches for 100 yards https://www.patriotsfanstore.com/Marcus-Cannon-Jersey , also for an undefeated team.“He’s a great friend. I’m happy for him and his opportunity,” Brady said. “He’s playing well. He was a great player for us. I have a great friendship with him and we’ll be friends for the rest of our lives.”New England acquired Josh Gordon from Cleveland in time for last week’s game, but Gordon didn’t suit up. Asked Friday if Gordon will play this week, coach Bill Belichick said, “We’ll see.”The Patriots have not lost three straight games since 2002. Last week, in the Sunday night loss at Detroit, they fell to 12-2 since ’02 after a September loss. They are in the rare position of being two games behind someone – Miami – in the AFC East they seem to own by birthright.Does that make this a must-win situation?“These games are important. Division games, that’s what it’s all about, so . they’re 3-0 and we’re looking up at them,” Brady said. “Obviously, we haven’t played the way that we all think we’re capable of playing, this is the next game, so it’s going to be a great opportunity for us to go out there and see if we can put together four quarters of good football.”He noted the key is the way his team starts the game. The numbers back him up: New England never trailed in the opening win against Houston but fell behind 14-0 at Jacksonville and 13-0 at Detroit, where the offense was invisible until the second quarter.“You get behind 10 points or 14 points at the start of games and you’re looking uphill all game,” Brady said. “It’s tough to win like that and we’ve done that the last two weeks. So we’ve got to try a different style this week and see if we can get ahead Patrick Chung Color Rush Jersey , see if we can play from ahead.”Last week, Brady, who has thrown six touchdowns passes and two interceptions, was guilty of throwing a pick 鈥?he had two through 10 games last year, none in the first four 鈥?into double coverage, and also of an intentional grounding.“I’d always love to play great,” he said. “I don’t always make great decisions out there. But I’m trying. You don’t get awards for trying in the NFL, so we’re trying to play better than we played last week.”A video surfaced Friday of Brady doing teammate James White‘s touchdown dance, the “Kodak Black,” something Brady hopes to do Sunday.“That’s his move so he’s trying to teach me something out there,” Brady said. “He’s pretty good at it, so I got a long way to go.”White agreed: “He has a lot of work to do.”So Brady said he was “going to be going home tonight and working on it – see if I can get in the end zone and do something special.”___
Posted: 1/17/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Whatever the NFL did to obtain details regarding the February 2018 incident involving former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt Justin Houston Jersey Salute to Service , it clearly wasn’t enough. And now more details are emerging regarding what the NFL did, and didn’t, do.According to Steve Vockrodt of the , the NFL did not make a formal request for records relating to the Hunt incident until November 30, the same day that TMZ published video of the altercation at a hallway of a Cleveland hotel.The NFL insists that its investigation began much earlier.鈥淲e had multiple verbal conversations with Cleveland police officers and requested surveillance video immediately upon learning of the incident in February,鈥?NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the . 鈥淚n addition, NFL representatives also made requests for surveillance video to the hotel property. We also obtained and reviewed the material developed by the police, which included the written reports prepared by the officers who responded to the incident Daniel Sorensen Jersey , and later the interviews that were recorded by body cams and the recordings of the 911 calls.”Per the report, a person named Jordan Carpenter, listing his company as the NFL, “filed a request for unedited versions of police reports, records, 911 calls, body camera footage, police radio reports and surveillance footage of ‘an incident involving multiple individuals occurring in the early morning hours of February 10 Limited Travis Kelce Jersey , 2018.'”Cleveland police previously admitted that it didn’t obtain video from the hotel because the authorities deemed the incident to be a misdemeanor not a felony. It’s unclear how aggressively or persistently the NFL impressed upon the Cleveland Police Department the importance of getting the video to the league’s ability to determine whether and to what extent Hunt should be punished. Having already compared Browns rookie Baker Mayfield to John Elway and Brett Favre earlier this year, Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale had more high praise for another young quarterback.Ahead of this week’s game against the Chiefs, Martindale said Patrick Mahomes reminded him of another quarterback who passed through Kansas City.“I think Mahomes is [Joe] Montana 鈥?I’m talking about the San Francisco Montana and not the Kansas City Montana,” Martindale said, via Jamison Hemsley of ESPN.com. “I think how everything is cyclical and history repeats itself. I think you’re seeing that combination between Andy [Reid] and Mahomes of Montana and Bill Walsh. I really do.”(Gee, it’s almost like he’s just buttering them up. Maybe next week when they play the Buccaneers he’ll say Jameis Winston reminds him of Vinny Testaverde, which now that you mention it. . . .)Mahomes is certainly having an impressive season, with 41 touchdown passes.That puts him 232 touchdowns De'Anthony Thomas Jersey , four Super Bowl rings, three Super Bowl MVPs, two league MVP awards and one gold jacket behind Montana.So year, they’re basically the same guy.“He’s wise beyond his years, the way he controls the line of scrimmage, the way he checks, the audibles, snap count Dustin Colquitt Jersey Salute to Service , the way he moves the safeties with his looks and his dropbacks,” Ravens safety Eric Weddle said. “[I’m] obviously impressed with what I’ve seen, and it’s exciting for me to go out there and try to make him mess up with what I can do and maybe force him into some throws he wouldn’t want to do.”Of course, the Ravens have been pretty impressive this year in their own right, practically a modern version of the 1985 Bears. Or something.
Posted: 1/17/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Alex Spanos Austin Ekeler Color Rush Jersey , who used his fortune from construction and real estate to buy the聽Chargers聽in 1984, has died. He was 95.The team announced in 2008 that Spanos was suffering from dementia. He eventually stopped attending games.The son of Greek immigrants, Spanos was a self-made millionaire. He bought controlling interest in the team for approximately $50 million from Gene Klein in 1984. He eventually bought all but the 3 percent that was held by George Pernicano.Although Spanos continued to live in Stockton after purchasing the Chargers, his oldest son, Dean, moved to San Diego to help run the team.It was Dean Spanos who decided to move the Chargers from San Diego, their home of 56 years, to聽Los Angeles聽in 2017.After then-general manager Bobby Beathard nearly resigned following the 1993 season due to a feud over signing bonuses for free agents, Alex Spanos put Dean in charge of day-to-day operations of the team. With Beathard remaining, the Chargers made their only Super Bowl appearance Joey Bosa Color Rush Jersey , a 49-26 loss to San Francisco in January 1995.After failing for years to get a new stadium to replace aging Qualcomm Stadium, the Chargers moved to Los Angeles, relocating to a soccer stadium in suburban Carson. They will share a state-of-the-art facility in Inglewood with the Rams once it is completed.It was Alex Spanos who first raised the topic of a new stadium in 2000, just three years after the city expanded Qualcomm by 10,000 seats for the Chargers, touting it as being Super Bowl-quality. The stadium hosted Super Bowls in 1998 and 2003, but the city fell behind on maintenance and it fell out of the Super Bowl rotation.Alex Spanos wasn’t held in warm regard by many San Diego fans and was booed during a halftime ceremony to retire Hall of Famer Dan Fouts’ No. 14 in 1988. After that, Alex Spanos didn’t participate in similar ceremonies.He was an avid golfer and counted among his friends Bob Hope and Gerald Ford. Hope sometimes attended Chargers home games, sitting in Spanos’ box.During his third season of ownership, Spanos fired legendary coach Don Coryell after the Chargers started 1-7 in 1986. It took nine seasons for the Chargers to make their first playoff appearance under Spanos’ ownership Forrest Lamp Color Rush Jersey , in 1992.Spanos took an unlikely road to NFL ownership. After working in his father’s bakery in Stockton, Spanos borrowed $800 from a banker to buy a truck from which he sold sandwiches to migrant farm workers in the San Joaquin Valley. He began investing in real estate and started a construction company that mostly built apartment buildings. The Los Angeles Chargers are more than just good, they’re lucky - Tyler SchoonThe Chargers appear to be one of the healthier teams in the league with injuries to positions filled by depth, much to the credit of general manager Tom Telesco. Rather than losing their star players at this key point in the season, the Bolts got back superstar defensive end Joey Bosa and are potentially awaiting the return of ball magnet, tight end Hunter Henry. It’s as lucky as a team can expect to be at this point in the season.Not concerned about touches, Antonio Gates focused on Super Bowl chase - Eric Williams“It’s challenging when you become accustomed to doing something for so long and doing it at a high level,” Gates said. “But the bigger picture is not what I can do individually. It's more about the team and what I can do to help us win, and I just need to be ready for that time, whenever it’s called.”Los Angeles Chargers: Comparing 2018 to 2006 - Ernie PadaonHow crazy is it that we had Keenans leading both squads. Vincent Jackson and Malcom were youngins in that year and they still were not the threats that we all know. Kinda like Mike Williams and Tyrell Williams. They are full of potential Mike Williams Color Rush Jersey , but we still are not sure what they will do in this league.Jatavis Brown is the man 'with the mic' on Chargers' defense - Eric Williams"I think another year in a system you're seeing him play faster," Bradley said. "... He's always been fast, but the ability to recognize and react quicker than he has in the past, I think that's really been evident for him."Chargers Spotlight Causes Important to Players with My Cause, My Cleats Campaign at Sunday’s Game- Chargers.comThe Los Angeles Chargers will host the Cincinnati Bengals at ROKiT Field at StubHub Center on Sunday, Dec. 9. Kickoff is set for 1:05p.m. PST. As part of the NFL’s My Cause, My Cleats campaign, select players will wear customized cleats reflecting their commitment to charitable causes during the game.Social Media Information:BFTB Facebook Page: Click here to like our pageBFTB Twitter: Follow @BFTB_ChargersThe Lightning Round Twitter: Follow @Lightning_RoundThe Lightning Round Facebook: Click here to like our pageBFTB Manager: Richard Wade: Follow @RichardWade
Posted: 1/16/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Sunday update: Andy Reid wants a four-man rotation at outside linebacker After reviewing the film of the Kansas City Chiefs’ 27-20 loss to the Chicago Bears Youth Travis Kelce Jersey , head coach Andy Reid had an opportunity to speak with the KC media on Sunday.Predictably, Reid was happy the Chiefs came out of the game healthy but did stress he needs to see the younger Chiefs play better. He also said they need to address the penalties, calling the game, “sloppy.”But the most interesting nugget we learned from Reid Sunday was his plan for the outside linebackers—that being Justin Houston, Dee Ford, Tanoh Kpassagnon and Breeland Speaks. Kpassagnon looked especially impressive Saturday.In a change from previous seasons, the Chiefs have been open to rotating the OLBs from side to side all throughout training camp and the preseason. But this feels new, too:“Inevitably, you’d like to have four guys here you can rotate,” Reid said. “That's what you'd like, so you keep guys fresh and fast. Especially if one of them is a rookie (Speaks), I just think it’s important that they get play-time. I don’t want to sleght them at all. I know what the other two (Houston and Ford) can do. The other two are in pretty good shape right now. They’re coming out of this thing healthy, which is important, which has been an issue with both of them. They’re in a good position right now, and then the young guys got some reps that I think are so valuable right now.”The Chiefs have traditionally used two outside linebackers throughout full games, but this could be a smart change given the ages of Houston (29) and Ford (27) and their history of fragility.—Behind the outside linebackers, the Chiefs have been working in cornerback Orlando Scandrick over the past week. Scandrick looked a bit lost on Saturday afternoon, especially on the Bears’ touchdown throw to Kevin White. Reid is taking the development and adjustment of the 31-year-old Scandrick in stride.“Orlando actually did pretty good job—he had the one play where he got double-moved in the game,” he said. “I thought he practiced well and I thought he played well other than that play. Listen Youth Mitch Morse Jersey , he’s staying aggressive, so he made some other plays and got the quarterback drawn off of it just by being aggressive on it. He made a nice tackle downfield, opposite field, which was good. He’s getting used to this, to the defense and all the calls and everything.“He’ll be fine I think.”The Chiefs will rest most of their starters when they play the Green Bay Packers in their final preseason game on Thursday night.Additional notesThe Chiefs first-teamers, who won’t play Thursday, will mostly focus on Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers this week. Reid added those playing in the game will cram for the Packers, giving them a final fair crack at making the roster.Reid wouldn’t reveal what the plan is with tight end Demetrius Harris, who will miss the Week 1 game due to suspension. You might see Harris in this game Thursday night when you probably otherwise wouldn’t in a different situation.Reid was grateful that the Bears threw many different defensive concepts at Patrick Mahomes, who Reid thought handled them well. “For a young quarterback, that experience is great. You want that.”Reid offered no additional updates on Allen Bailey, Eric Berry, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif or Steve Nelson. On Monday, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid stepped up to the podium for his usual day-after-the-game press conference following Sunday’s 37-23 defeat of the Cleveland Browns, and had quite a lot to say.Here are some of the key takeaways:Reid said that while they recognized the Browns were in a unique situation, the Chiefs approached the game as they usually do.Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images“It was really a nothing-to-lose situation,” he said. “We just anticipated that anything and everything was possible. [But] we’ve tried to stay in tune with that against everybody as the season’s gone on. Maybe not necessarily the two-point plays — although we always practice that —- but some of those things on special teams like the fake punts and the onside kicks. Dave [Toub] has worked very hard on that.”Reid was also asked if the Chiefs’ ability to hold on all three of the Browns’ two-point conversions affected the momentum of the game.True to his usual form, Reid eventually got around to a food reference.“If you talk to the stat guys, they’ll tell you that there’s no such thing as momentum; that’s not part of the equation Youth Kareem Hunt Jersey ,” Reid said. “But I think there’s a little bit of that. When you’ve driven down, taken whatever time was needed to score a touchdown, and you don’t get the icing on the cake, that can be a little bit of a letdown.”Reid was asked about the upcoming home game against the Arizona Cardinals — another team with a poor record.Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images“We know they’re coming off a ten-day rest -- longer than that, it’s a bye week -- and we know that they’ll be fresh,” he said. “And they’re coming off a win. That’s also a positive for them. We also know that they’ve got some young players that are tremendous on the defensive side. They also have some veteran players that are playing out of their minds right now. We just have to make sure that we get ourselves ready to play.”For Reid, that includes figuring out a way to reduce the number of penalties being called against the Chiefs.On Sunday, the Chiefs were penalized 11 times for 86 yards.“We have way too many. I mean, we took half a game away from ourselves. If you have almost 500 yards of offense and take 90 yards away from that, that’s going the wrong direction. You have to go in there and keep disciplining yourself — whether it’s tight hands, whatever it might be.”As someone who spent years questioning former Chiefs head coach Marty Shottenheimer — whom reporters would often deliberately ask about penalties in a just-concluded game, knowing that Shottenheimer would scowl and say something like, “That is going to stop!” — I’m often amused by the contrast in Reid’s approach to this subject.”Some of these things I look at, they’re close calls,” said Reid. “I try to look at the things where you can coach the guys up on — to try and make them better, so it doesn’t happen again. But some of them are jump balls.“If they’re going to block, you want to make sure that their hands are tight. They’re going to be OK normally,” Reid continued. “But it’s a subjective decision. That’s what’s great about it. We have officials. It’s not run by a machine or computer. This is what they see. So you have to look at the tape, but you also have to look at it from their angle. Sometimes you don’t get that from tape.”Reid was asked about Browns players who had told reporters preparing for the Chiefs offense was nothing like actually playing against it.Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images“That’s a nice compliment from the team Youth Justin Houston Jersey ,” Reid responded. “I don’t know exactly what they’re looking at. We try to give them enough looks, and then we’ve got guys that can move around -- they can make little subtle adjustments -- and right now, the receivers and the the tight end have a good connection with Patrick [Mahomes]. And then [Kareem Hunt] is running very aggressively and hard. And he can also catch.”But it might be more than that.In response to another question, Reid said the players are doing a great job of being ready from the opening snap.“Our guys are coming out, and they’re ready to go,” he said. “They’re executing. [They’re] making plays when they’ve needed to make plays. You have to give credit to them for that — for being ready to go — and not easing into the situation.“We’re not coming out there and going, ‘Oh, OK, let’s see what they’re doing,’” he continued. “We come out and do what we do. They’re doing that. That’s how they’ve prepared themselves. It’s a tribute to the guys, and how they go about it. Eric Bieniemy stresses that like crazy. We have a meeting — I wish you all could be in there for it — on Saturday night, and when he cuts it loose, you might fear not coming out ready.”Reid was asked about the progress the team’s top three draft picks — Breeland Speaks, Derrick Nnadi and Dorian O’Daniel — are making.Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty ImagesOn Sunday, the rookie trio combined for 129 defensive snaps — the most they’ve had together all season.“They’re getting better,” Reid responded. “Brett [Veach] spends a lot of time with his crew finding these guys, then working it out where we can get them here — and then they’ve got good coaches, and they’re good players. They want to be good. They enjoy the game. [Speaks, Nnadi and O’Daniel] love playing the game http://www.thechiefsfootballauthentic.com/dee-ford-jersey-authentic , and they’re smart kids. It’s easy to coach [players with that] combination. But it takes a lot of effort to find those kinds of guys, and get them here.”Other notes from Monday’s press conference:During Sunday afternoon’s postgame press conference, Reid said that Sammy Watkins had “an ankle,” but was “going to be all right.”Watkins left Sunday’s game with what appeared to be an ankle injury, but later returned to the lineup. Even being out for a time, Watkins was on the field for 43 of 58 Chiefs offensive snaps. Reid had no additional injury information on Monday.On Sunday, Reid had praised Tyreek Hill and Anthony Hitchens — both of whom had been nursing injuries during the week — for “playing through” the game.Hill was on the field for all by two offensive snaps, and Hitchens was on the field for 51 of 73 defensive snaps.“He’s in a unique position as that middle linebacker,” Reid said of Hitchens. “All eyes are on you. You’re the transmitter between the back end and the front end. Guys rely on you. He’s in there now full time, and he feels that — he feels the responsibility there.It’s also important that we’re not putting him in a bind, because he wants to play. He always wants to play. We’ve had to spot him at times during the year, because he’s out there for a lot of snaps.”Reid said that Chiefs fans “travel well,” and the team appreciates their presence at road games. The head coach said there were many Chiefs fans at the hotel in Cleveland when they came out — and that at the stadiums, it’s always easy to tell how many Chiefs fans are in attendance.“You always know — right around the National Anthem — how many people are pulling for you on the road,“ Reid said.
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Cowboys vs. Lions: Five bold predictions It’s been a long week in terms of the Dallas Cowboys. Losing doesn’t sit well with people. Losing is uncomfortable. Nobody wants to do it. The reality of sports is that unless there’s a tie (which has happened to a surprising degree so far this season across the league) Color Rush Jaylon Smith Jersey , there’s a winner and a loser. We’re all hoping that the Dallas Cowboys will be winners on Sunday afternoon, and we’re hoping to have some fun in the process of that. Let’s kick things off with BTB’s five bold predictions.Dak Prescott will have thrown deep five times before halftimeLast week in Seattle was quite embarrassing for the Dallas Cowboys offense, and particularly for quarterback Dak Prescott. The third-year man behind center didn’t throw a pass beyond 15 yards in the loss, and that’s unacceptable by any standard.When something like this happens we tend to see a team (especially the Cowboys) massively over-correct. Dallas will have seen what went wrong and try to fight fire with a bigger fire. Expect some deep balls early and often so that they can’t say that they didn’t do it.The Cowboys will benefit from the NFL’s roughing the passer rule fiascoTyrone Crawford was on the wrong end of a dumb rule last Sunday. You’ll remember:If overcorrection is going to happen it has to happen everywhere, right?Jaylon Smith will have the best game of his careerWe’re only three games in, but it’s hard to not feel great about Jaylon Smith right now.Jaylon doesn’t look totally like the player we saw at Notre Dame http://www.authenticsdallascowboys.com/cheap-tyrone-crawford-jersey , but he is certainly getting close. He’s played arguably his best three games as a member of the Cowboys, and on Sunday with Sean Lee out more is going to be asked of him.There are a lot of ways to qualify “best game of his career” if we’re being honest. I’ll allow you to pick whatever you like. Maybe you think Jaylon will have more tackles than ever, more sacks than ever, have a touchdown, all I know is the guy that said this is going off.This will be fun.Rod Smith will take a carry at least 20 yardsWhile I’m all for feeding Ezekiel Elliott as much as possible, fellow Cowboys running back Rod Smith has only been fed once on the ground this season. He picked up five yards on that carry.There’s something weird about noon games in September at AT&T Stadium. I don’t want to say they don’t feel right http://www.authenticsdallascowboys.com/cheap-kavon-frazier-jersey , but they have a weird feeling. Am I alone in this? Who knows. Last season the Cowboys were at home for Week 4 for a noon game against the Los Angeles Rams. Tavon Austin was there, but so was Alfred Morris. While Zeke got fed to a satisfactory degree Alfred Morris took his first carry for 70 yards. It feels like Rod Smith is hovering around that zone. Let’s go.Brett Maher will connect from 57 yards outWe’ve seen new Cowboys kicker Brett Maher successfully boot four field goals through the uprights this season. They’ve come from 37, 29, 50, and 35 yards out.The Cowboys offense isn’t going to magically go from super dull to super lively over the course of one week, but it is definitely possible for it to show legitimate improvement. That being said Youth Travis Frederick Jersey , against a team like the Detroit Lions with a defensive mind like Matt Patricia, they might not get off to the hottest of starts in the first half.This game feels weird. You can almost smell the Cowboys getting the ball with just over a minute left in the half, putting together a drive that’s nice but not good enough, and having to resort to a long field goal. That’s when Brett Maher’s big leg will connect for a 57-yard field goal. Let the party begin. Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Maliek Collins has been ruled out of Sunday's game at Seattle with a knee injury and pass rusher Randy Gregory is set to return after missing a week with a concussion.Collins missed the preseason recovering from surgery for a broken foot sustained during offseason workouts. He injured the knee in last week's win over the New York Giants.Gregory had missed 30 of the previous 32 games because of substance-abuse suspensions before sustaining a concussion in the season-opening loss at Carolina. He was a full participant in practice all week.Safety Xavier Woods could make his season debut against the Seahawks after sitting the first two games with a hamstring injury. Woods is listed as questionable along with linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring) and receiver Cole Beasley, who injured an ankle in practice Thursday. Lee was limited in practice this week but said he expected to play.Four-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick will miss his third straight game with a nerve disorder that has sidelined him indefinitely. Custom New York Giants Jerseys
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Film Room: Quenton Nelson pass blocking vs. San Francisco 49ers Indianapolis Colts Hats , Preseason Week 3 Throughout the preseason, Quenton Nelson has showed some very positive attributes. His biggest pass blocking strengths have been showing a strong anchor and winning battles any time he is able square up a defender. His biggest weakness has been battling lateral quickness, particularly when he doesn’t have a chance to get his paws on the defender immediately.We will close out our Week 3 look at Nelson’s performance by examining his pass blocking from the weakest to strongest snaps against the 49ers.This is an example of Nelson’s primary weakness as a pass blocker. When he does not engage a defender early in the snap, he is susceptible to losing against speed. He will need to continue working to improve this area of his game to become an elite pass blocker. There are plenty of starting defensive linemen in the NFL who have the combination of strength and speed needed to exploit this weakness during the regular season.Here, Nelson is left to simply grab at the defender’s jersey to keep Luck from getting killed.This is one of the funnier holds I have ever seen breaking down film. The defensive lineman gains leverage with a bull rush right off of the snap. Nelson is able to stymie his progress into the backfield but as he does the defender leaps into the air — in an attempt to potentially bat down a Luck pass. When the defender lands, his legs get tangled up with Nelson, who realizes he is going to go down. Rather than allow the defensive lineman get free, Nelson tackles him to the ground.There was no holding called on the play but Nelson clearly got away with one here.One of Nelson’s best pass blocking attributes is his ability to anchor and keep pressure from coming right into the face of the quarterback. He is attempting to do the same on this play but takes a shot from the defender into his face-mask. This is illegal use of the hands, hands to the face and should have been a penalty. It wasn’t though, and the result is Brissett throwing a quick release to Nyheim Hines — who is summarily crushed.This play demonstrates what you will most often see from Nelson in terms of his anchor and strength on the line. Coming directly into his grasp is almost always a losing proposition. The only effective bull rushes I’ve seen of Nelson have included hands locked out on his shoulder pads or illegal hands to his face.If you don’t achieve one of those two objectives, you’re going to lose.This is another example where the defender comes directly into Nelson and then tries to navigate out of the block. This isn’t going to happen. Once Nelson is in a defender’s chest and the initial impact is established, the defender is pretty much done.As we acknowledged in the ground game Indianapolis Colts Hoodie , one of Nelson’s best attributes as an offensive lineman is the ability to quickly diagnose how to address oncoming defenders. He efficiently passes off the first defender to Haeg on the outside and moves back to the inside to thwart the stunt. Here is another example of incredible vision and quick reaction by Nelson. This kind of awareness will make life much easier for Luck in 2018. Nelson dismisses the initial burst from the defensive lineman and pass him inside to Kelly and Braden Smith. He recognizes the stunt and moves back to the outside to take over for Le’Raven Clark, freeing him to slide outside and get a body on the stunting defensive end.If the offensive line can establish continuity and communicate like this in the regular season, it will bode well for the Colts passing offense.This is easily my favorite play from Nelson this year. What you’re watching here is All Pro level, rare offensive line play. Note that Nelson identifies that his defender is heading to the inside. He gets a push to pass him off and simultaneously identifies pressure coming from the outside. You can see his head turn at the pause. What makes him a very rare athlete for his size, and such a tremendous offensive line prospect, is what he does next.Nelson explodes back toward the outside pressure to help Joe Haeg. Good thing he does because Haeg is getting driven back into Luck’s blind side. Braden Smith gets completely demolished on the bull rush to his right, making Luck leave the pocket anyway, but this is a long first down run for Luck that was made possible by Quenton Nelson. If Nelson isn’t on the Colts, this is likely a sack or strip sack.ANALYSISQuenton Nelson is a phenomenal offensive line prospect. He is not without his flaws and will have areas he needs to improve throughout the early portions of his career but if he can stay healthy, he will be an absolutely dominant force. Nelson does things that very few offensive linemen do. He does those things because very few offensive linemen are aware enough to even realize they should do those things, and of those that do, even fewer are athletically gifted enough to do them in the first place. This was the best all around film Nelson has put together in his young career Customized Indianapolis Colts Jerseys , which is a great sign for the Indianapolis Colts as the team prepares to start the regular season.Colts Cast: Breaking down Colts Week 4, 37-34 OT loss to Texans The Indianapolis Colts OT loss to the Houston Texans in Week 4 will not soon be forgotten. The final play that the Colts ran offensively, though, certainly does not sum up this game nor should it. Andrew Luck put up a massive stat line (40-62, 464 yards, 4 TDs) that should quiet those saying that his arm can’t do this or can’t do that due to some lack of arm strength.The Colts defense had themselves a game, too, despite the fact that the Texans finished with as many points as they did. They held the Texans’ running backs, forced a turnover and held up in the red zone on some possessions just as they had through the first three games. The Colts offense did gift the Texans 14 points after all. With all of that clearly in the rearview mirror, Frank Reich’s 4th-and-4 call to go for it, in his own territory has no shortage of opinions coming out. Of course I’ve got mine as well, but it goes less towards “should he have gone for it on 4th down in a tie game www.authenticsindianapoliscolts.com ,” and more in the direction of what was happening in the past few minutes of the game. Many will say that you put the ball in your franchise quarterback’s hands when it counts, and that’s a totally justified opinion. But, what about when the momentum isn’t in his favor?If there’s anything that really needs to be addressed in all of this, it’s those saying “the Colts aren’t going anywhere this year anyhow” IN WEEK 4. Last I checked, a tie is not a loss, and if the wins are the same come playoff time, that tie could come in handy. There are 10 teams in the AFC with a 2-2, or 1-3 record right now. Why couldn’t the Colts earn a Wild Card berth this year? And do fans honestly think that nothing is worth it if the team isn’t deemed “Super Bowl contenders” right now? That seems a little more than ridiculous to me.Please subscribe, rate and review the show anywhere you listen to podcasts.Colts Cast Links: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Art 19 | SB Colts Cast YT Channel | Google | Spotify
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Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitchens suffered a rib contusion in Sunday’s victory over the Denver Broncos http://www.kansascitychiefsteamonline.com/mitchell-schwartz-jersey , and there’s a serious question about whether he will play this Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.He didn’t participate in practice Wednesday, and he was limited on Thursday.Should he be unable to go, it seems likely that the Chiefs may depend on rookie linebacker Ben Niemann to carry at least some of the load.Niemann — an undrafted free agent out of Iowa — was impressive in preseason and has been dressed for six games this season.Except for a handful of snaps in the last two weeks, all of his playing time has been on special teams.But on Thursday, Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton expressed confidence in Niemann.Bobsitivity.Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images“Ben did a really good job in preseason,” he said. “That’s obviously when we saw him the most. Every time he’s gone in — whether in a preseason game, practice or whatever — he’s [been] a very reliable, very dependable, tough-minded guy. He loves to compete. He brings a lot of those attributes that I think are associated with the Iowa program — being tough, aggressive and all-out — and I think that will serve him well. We feel pretty good about Ben.”Chiefs linebacker Reggie Ragland — who would be playing alongside Niemann if Hitchens cannot play — also expressed confidence.“Ben can play,” Ragland said. “He knows the whole system. The coaches have confidence in him — to put him out there — so it doesn’t matter what I think. I just know Ben’s going to go out there and do what he has to do. He has my full support.”Ragland almost bristled in response to a question about Niemann’s work ethic.“Oh, man. Ben is one of the hardest-working people in this building. Period. He does what he has to do. He does everything the coaches ask him to do. And on top of that, he knows the game plan each week. Ben’s a hell of a player, and I’m excited for him to get out there and play if Hitch can’t go.”Photo by David Eulitt/Getty ImagesNiemann would be joining another rookie linebacker that generated a lot of excitement in the preseason but didn’t see much action until recently: Dorian O’Daniel.O’Daniel has been active in every game this season — and like Niemann — had seen the most playing time on special teams, with only a handful of snaps on defense.That changed two weeks ago, when Terrance Smith was injured in the game against the Cincinnati Bengals.The Chiefs had originally planned to start rotating O’Daniel into the defensive lineup more regularly, but with Smith’s injury, O’Daniel saw a lot more playing time against the Bengals — and then the Broncos.Sutton said that O’Daniel’s playing time will continue to increase.Photo by Harry How/Getty Images“He’s going to see [more playing time] just like he did the other day when Terrance Smith went down. He’s going to play a lot as we go forward, because we’re down one person here, and we were just starting to expand his role before that injury. We had him in on certain packages. Now he’s going to be in on a lot of the packages.”Sutton added that O’Daniel’s role in the Chiefs defense is a little different than what he played in college.“He has had to come in and learn — kind of like we’ve had other position guys [do] — he had to come in and be an in-the-box player. He was usually out of the box at Clemson — out on the perimeter — and now he has to come in and do all those [other] things.”Sutton — like many Chiefs fans who have watched him play in the last two weeks — had a lot of praise for O’Daniel.“Coverage-wise — with speed and quickness — he’s got a really good skill set,” said Sutton. “I think you’re going to see [him] get better and better. He’s outstanding on the perimeter. He can go out and track you down. He likes doing it, and thinks he can do it, and he’s pretty good at it right now.” It’s our Monday column, The Re-Up. In this column, I’ll write about some deeper thought I had about the last game and finish with some fun stuff to ponder at the article’s end. Check out last week’s column here.Photo by David Eulitt/Getty ImagesThe Kansas City Chiefs did not have the dominant offensive performance we expected Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, who came into Arrowhead Stadium with a 2-6 record. There was no cover of their dreaded 16.5-point spread with only a 12-point victory.The story that developed as the game went on was much more so about the Chiefs defense and, digging even deeper, its pass rush. I’m not ignoring you and your six-game sack streak, Chris Jones, but for the purpose of this week’s Re-Up, I’d like to zone in on the outside linebackers.Justin Houston returned to the lineup Sunday after missing four games due to a hamstring injury http://www.kansascitychiefsteamonline.com/allen-bailey-jersey , and according to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Dee Ford and Houston combined for 15 pressures on the day, good for 54.5 percent of Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen’s dropbacks.That resulted in an awful stat line for Rosen—22 for 39 for 208 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Houston had one of the picks.“They set a record or whatever they did by hitting the quarterback as many times as did, so that wasn’t a bad start,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. “I would tell you that they’re playing good. Defenses right now are stretched in the National Football League. You’ve seen it every week, so to be able to get the pressure that we did on the quarterback was a huge part of it—stepping up with big plays when needed I thought was big again. Do we have plenty of room to grow? Absolutely—both sides of the ball. Special teams can be better here, so we’re just going to keep working on that, but I thought our guys were getting after it.”In early June, I wrote about how the Chiefs had decided to part ways with linebackers coach Gary Gibbs, splitting the room into two—Mark DeLeone with the inside linebackers and Mike Smith with the outside linebackers.It probably does not get talked about quite enough, but the job Smith has done may be directly leading to the success that we have seen from Ford, who is in the midst of the best season of his career, as well as the room as a whole.“It’s helped tremendously,” Ford said earlier this season regarding the linebacker coach split. “Mike is great. He is a student of the game. Everything is repetitive. Every day, we do the same thing and we are getting better at smaller things. It is crazy, we’ve played for so many years, and Justin (Houston) and I talk all the time with our steps being awful at times. “We are just so athletic and strong we can just get away with it. But now, having that coach, Mike is phenomenal.”2018 marked the eighth season for Houston and the fifth season for Ford, so when Smith took over their coaching, he turned back the clock.“That’s what we went back to this OTAs,” outside linebacker Tanoh Kpassagnon explained earlier this season. “Kind of doing basic things—our steps, little things that older guys can kind of forget sometimes that they put in the back of their head because they’ve been playing for so long. Mike just brought that back and I feel like that’s helped us a lot.”Smith works diligently each week to provide the outside linebackers with guides on how to beat every offensive lineman along the line. He made headlines here at Arrowhead Pride in late May, when he decided it would be best to move Houston and Ford around the front based upon OL matchups.What’s more was how willing the players were to buy in.Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports“Mike Smith does a really good job with [Ford], with all of those guys,” Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton explained earlier this year. “Giving them the information, the background and clips to match these things, saying this is what we are anticipating, this is what we think this guy is like. I compare it to pitchers and hitters. They have to know each other to really take advantage of it. You can just get up there and swing or reel back and throw your fastball without knowing anything about them. Sometimes that’s good enough. Usually when you get people of equal ability you have to know something else.”That pro scouting work is providing a rookie like Breeland Speaks confidence he may not otherwise have.“It definitely helps,” Speaks said. “You know what you’re looking for on the field. If you don’t know your opponent Authentic Tyreek Hill Jersey , then you can’t really know how to beat them, so that helps in every way, especially in pass-rush situations...like if a guy has low hands, I know what moves to use against him, high hands or whatever—it’s just whatever we already scouted—he’s not going to change it up, he’s been doing it his whole life, so we pretty much know what to expect.”The Chiefs’ 2018 and 2017 second-round picks in Speaks and Kpassagnon, respectively, are in the midst of a transition to the outside linebacker position after playing along the defensive line in college.It is not always an easy transition, but Smith has been there to direct them along the way.Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports“He’s helped in every aspect,” Speaks explained, “from teaching pass rush to showing me how to watch film to showing me what to look for on and off the field. It’s just been all a big help to me.”Kpassagnon, who did not make as big an impact as he would have wanted in 2017, has taken a visible step forward in 2018 in part thanks to Smith.“He’s a real personable person, so it’s almost like we’re playing for him,” Kpassagnon said. “We don’t want to disappoint him. Things kind of like that, but also, the way he coaches. We understand him. He played the game.”Smith was selected out of Texas Tech in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens, with whom he played for four seasons until 2008.“He played with Ray Lewis,” Kpassagnon added, “with a bunch of great players, so he knows both sides and he recently has done both.”The trust from his position group has shown on the field, and if Sunday is a sign of things to come, the Chiefs may finally get to matching their defensive success with their offense’s.“That’s why we always say it’s so important that your front’s playing well,” Reid said. “When the defensive front’s playing well, particularly in the pass game, that makes everybody around them better, so it’s a plus.”RAPID REACTIONThis week’s Rapid Reaction was taken from my opening thoughts on the Arrowhead Pride post-game show, as first heard live on 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City.STAT OF THE GAMEGIF OF THE GAMETWEET(s) OF THE WEEKMeanwhile, in Oakland...FIVE QUOTES1. Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald on the Kansas City Chiefs and Tyreek Hill: “You can’t give a team like Kansas City any extra possessions. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a player like Tyreek Hill 鈥?as explosive and dynamic as that guy is. He can hurt you in so many phases of the game. It was fun to see it in person.”2. Hill on quarterback Patrick Mahomes breaking the single-season franchise touchdown record: “That is something I’d do on Madden. For him to come in and do that, that’s amazing. A lot of people doubted him saying he wasn’t going to do this or wasn’t going to do that. He is shutting a lot of people up right now and I’m proud of him. He’s just got to continue to move forward and stay humble. He will be alright. We have playmakers all over the field. We’ve got Kareem Womens Eric Murray Jersey , Kelce, Pat, me, D-Rob, Conley, so we have a lot of playmakers.”3. Chiefs defensive end Jarvis Jenkins on the different style of win against the Cardinals: “It was more of a team win, like all three phases of the ball. At the end of the day, the offense can’t close the game for us. Sooner or later, it has to be the defense. That is part of the being a team, you can’t be one dimensional. I think the feeling we have now is it is a good team win. It wasn’t pretty, but we got it done. That is what we have to do going into the postseason because these games are about to be a lot tougher.”4. Chiefs running back Spencer Ware on his first touchdown of the 2018 season: “If anyone knows kind of how I made my way onto the scene in 2015 was off of that play. I scored a lot of touchdowns that year. Finally got the monkey off my back and trying to get more to go.”5. Chiefs linebacker Reggie Ragland on the defensive improvement on Sunday: “We’re having more fun with it. I feel like the first couple weeks we were putting too much into it, trying too hard. We’re having fun with it, whatever happens, happens. It’s football. we’ve been playing the game for too long for us not to have fun with it. It’s a child’s game and we’re grown men playing it. Have fun with it, don’t worry about all that other stuff. Do what we’re supposed to do, handle what you can handle and everything else will work itself out.”THE BIG THOUGHTPhoto by Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesWaiting 54 years to watch someone break the single-season franchise touchdown record, especially when it was only 30 touchdowns, is less than ideal.But as you think back to all the Chiefs starters from Len Dawson to Patrick Mahomes—the Elvis Grabcs, the Trent Greens and the Alex Smiths—the moment becomes much more special given the fact that Mahomes is Kansas City’s, doesn’t it?Mahomes was drafted by the Chiefs and has only played for the Chiefs, and if Chiefs fans have their way, he will never play anywhere else.“He’s playing his heart out,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said of Mahomes. “I love the backside of that: the preparation and how he goes about his business there day in and day out. You guys have a chance to see him at practice early and comes out every day bringing energy and he makes sure that he has his things in order. When he does that, and he’s got a lot on his plate, as far as responsibility goes, to run that offense, and he takes care of that. He’s in a position where he can make everyone better around him, and he’s doing that. I am proud of him for how he’s going about his business.”POLL OF THE WEEK
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Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate was driving to work Tuesday when he was behind a two-car accident on a freeway. He ended up spending about 45 minutes to help a woman and her young daughter."No one was stopping or getting out to see what was going on Youth Kavon Frazier Jersey ," Tate recalled. "I just put it in park, put my flashers on and made sure everything was OK. I made sure the car was off because it was smoking. I made sure the driver was OK, which she was. Then, I went straight to the little girl."Tate said a 3-year-old girl appeared to be safe, but shaken, sitting in the back seat of the car while her mother was making phone calls to get help. Tate and his wife, Elise, had their first child, a girl named Londyn, earlier this year, and his paternal instincts kicked in at the scene of the accident."I didn't even ask. I just picked her up," Tate recalled. "I probably should've asked, but I did what I would've done if Londyn was in that situation."Tate said he didn't exchange information with the woman in the accident and no one recognized him other than a police officer, who pounded fists with him before he resumed his commute to the team's training facility."Hey, good game last week. I didn't want to say anything in front of them," Tate recalled the police officer saying.SAM'S SONGSSam Darnold has a diverse playbook when it comes to his music playlist.The New York Jets rookie quarterback will listen to just about anything and everything before a game, while working out or during the few moments these days when he can just lounge around."It kind of depends on what mood I'm in," Darnold said. "But if I'm just relaxing, probably country. That EDM (electronic dance music) stuff, I kind of got into in college. I've always been into rap and hip-hop and all that."After the Jets' 21-17 loss at Cleveland two weeks ago, Darnold took a few hours that weekend to clear his head by going to an Ed Sheeran concert at MetLife Stadium. The British singer is a one-man band with his microphone, guitar and foot loop pedal system."Super," Darnold said. "I would go again. He's one of those dudes who's amazing in concert http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-anthony-brown-jersey , just what he's able to do with everything."So, if he had to pick three other concerts right now to see, what would they be?"I would probably have to say Jack Johnson," Darnold said of the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter from Hawaii. "He would have to be one of them."After thinking for a couple of seconds, Darnold switched things up and chose two of his favorite hip-hop artists."I want to see J. Cole live," he said. "That would be cool. And, probably Kendrick Lamar. I want to see him, as well."Any rock bands?"Rock? Yeah, definitely," he said. "Foo Fighters, Pixies 鈥?they're not really around anymore, but my dad's a big fan 鈥?Nirvana."How about Metallica, whose "Enter Sandman" was Darnold's walk-up song when he was selected No. 3 overall at the NFL draft site in Arlington, Texas?"A little bit," Darnold said with a big smile. "That's a little harder, a little metal-ish. But I like it all."HELPING OUTFalcons linebacker De'Vondre Campbell and the Super Bowl host committee in Atlanta celebrated "Crucial Catch Month" with the American Cancer Society this week, honoring cancer survivors and community members currently receiving services from the Southside Medical Center and Oakhurst Medical Center, both of which are funded in part by the NFL and the ACS.Campbell is an ACS ambassador.In July, the society and the NFL awarded $3.2 million in grant funding to 32 health systems across the country, including $100,000 to Southside Medical Center, to address disparities in breast cancer mortality that exist among women of color. Additional funding through another group, the Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) http://www.thecowboysfootballauthentic.com/chris-jones-jersey-authentic , is being directed to Oakhurst Medical Center to focus on breast cancer screening and colorectal cancer screening.This month, each NFL team is hosting a Crucial Catch game at its home stadium."As the only organization attacking cancer from every angle, we are so pleased to continue our life-saving work with the NFL and our Crucial Catch partnership, and to partner with the Super Bowl Host Committee as we work together to fight cancer, especially as we join forces in Atlanta for Super Bowl 53 in 2019," said Sharon Byers, the chief marketing and development officer for the American Cancer Society.During Super Bowl week, the American Cancer Society and NFL will host an event to celebrate 10 years of partnership and raise awareness about the Crucial Catch initiative, which began in 2009 and has raised more than $18 million for the ACS.GIANTS GETTLEMAN GOINGNew York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman is traveling with the team for this weekend's game in Charlotte, North Carolina, against the Carolina Panthers.It's the first time the 67-year-old Gettleman is accompanying the team since it was announced in early June he was undergoing treatment for lymphoma. Gettleman has finished his treatments.It's appropriate he is making this trip. Before being named the Giants' general manager in late December, he was the Panthers general manager from January 2013 to July 2017. Carolina made the playoffs in his first three seasons, playing in the Super Bowl in February 2015.He drafted defensive lineman Kawann Short, guard Trai Turner and halfback Christian McCaffrey, while signing quarterback Cam Newton and linebacker Luke Kuechly to long-term contracts.TAKK ATTACKTakk McKinley's first name is pronounced "tack," and Takk likes to talk.McKinley, a second-year defensive end with the Atlanta Falcons, told reporters this week he regards Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl champion, as a legendary quarterback. But that doesn't mean McKinley is all that impressed."Big Ben, you know, he's one of the best quarterbacks of all time, but he hasn't seen Takk McKinley Womens Terrance Williams Jersey , and that's just me being honest," McKinley said. "So, great quarterback and respect him, but he hasn't seen me."McKinley played behind Adrian Clayborn as a rookie last year, finishing with six sacks in 16 games after Atlanta drafted him late in the first round out of UCLA. Despite missing a game this season with a groin injury, McKinley is tied for second in the NFL with five sacks. He had three last week against Cincinnati, but took little satisfaction in his performance."We lost," he said. "You flush it down the toilet. We watched film on it ... we're not focused on that game no more. We're focused on Pittsburgh."McKinley took a deadpan approach in speaking twice with the media this week. He's anything but monotone on the field, grinding across the offensive line to disrupt the backfield and using a shimmy shake to celebrate big plays."Just me being me, out there bringing my energy," he said. "I'm just out there competing, having fun. That's what it's all about. This is a game. Go out there and enjoy it."Asked if there were any sack specialists he has admired over several seasons, McKinley didn't hesitate."I used to like Aldon Smith a lot. Troublemaker," he said. "Greg Hardy, also a troublemaker. Those are my favorite players."Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel likes what he sees from McKinley."It's great to see a man who wants to put on his helmet and go get the quarterback, and when I say that, it's his passion," Manuel said. "It might not look pretty every single time, but it's everything he has, every single play. It's electrifying for the entire defense."AP Pro Football Writers Dennis Waszak Jr. and Barry Wilner, and AP Sports Writers Tom Canavan, Larry Lage and George Henry contributed. Dez Bryant's going to meet with the Browns. Depending on how things go, he could stay awhile.The free agent wide receiver has scheduled a visit with Cleveland on Thursday Womens Dak Prescott Jersey , and the anticipated stopover could lead to the three-time Pro Bowler signing with a team craving more playmakers.Bryant, who released by the Dallas Cowboys in April after eight seasons, has shown previous interest in joining the Browns. Last week, Bryant posted on Twitter that he intended to speak with the team and a Browns spokesman confirmed the sides will talk later this week.But while Bryant would certainly be a talent upgrade for a team coming off a 0-16 season, Browns coach Hue Jackson said it's vital to make sure he fits with Cleveland's culture."It's not just a given," Jackson said following Tuesday's practice. "I think you have to work through whatever conversations we have and feel good about it."Cleveland needs receiving help and receiver Jarvis Landry and quarterback Tyrod Taylor have lobbied for Bryant, who has 531 career receptions for 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns.But the 29-year-old Bryant has baggage, and the Browns have to be sure he's not only committed to them, but that he won't be a distraction. Bryant frequently clashed with Dallas coaches and he recently went on a Twitter rant criticizing former teammates.Jackson said the team will be prepared to ask Bryant the appropriate questions."We do all of our homework prior to (a visit), and you have very open and candid conversations with guys about what your locker room is, how your team is run, how we go about doing things and see if it fits," he said following Tuesday's practice. "The player has to be honest, and we have to be honest about what our expectations are. You just lay it out, and I think that's the only way you can do it at this time."The Browns have been in the market for another receiver since camp opened.Former Pro Bowler Josh Gordon has been absent to focus on his health and the team doesn't know when he'll be back. Cleveland recently traded former first-round pick Corey Coleman to Buffalo and there are still questions about whether rookie Antonio Callaway can be counted on because of his background and recently being cited for marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license.Bryant clearly has the talent to help the Browns, who now have to weigh the risk.Bryant is believed to have other options, but he could be enticed to join Landry, who isn't sure if Cleveland has enough for his friend."We're just trying to figure out if he wants to be here," Landry said. "Then obviously we're open arms and we'd love to have him. He'd be a great addition to our team and our offense for sure."Bryant had 69 catches for 838 yards and six TDs last season, below his usual standards. His last 1,000-yard season was in 2014. Custom New York Giants Jerseys
Posted: 1/11/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
The Indianapolis Colts have released their injury report for Friday http://www.authenticsindianapoliscolts.com/cheap-jack-doyle-jersey , their third and final update of the week as they prepare to host the Jacksonville Jaguars:The biggest news with today’s release is the activation of 2018 second-round pick and defensive tackle/end Tyquan Lewis off of the IR and his full participation in Friday’s practice. The former Buckeye returned to practice on Oct. 24 and gave Indy a 21-day period to decide if he would be activated or not. Lewis, one of four 2018 draft picks on the defensive line, will hope to be another bright name in what has been proving to be a strong rookie class for Indianapolis.After failing to participate in practice all week, tight end Ryan Hewitt (ankle), safety Mike Mitchell (calf) and tight end Erik Swoope (knee) were all ruled out for Sunday’s game at home.Of those questionable for this week’s game, wide receiver Ryan Grant (ankle) participated in full after being limited in both Wednesday and Thursday practices. Cornerback Nate Hairston (ankle) was limited for the third day in a row, and defensive end Kemoko Turay (neck) missed practice for the second day in a row after being limited on Wednesday. Offensive lineman Denzelle Good, who sat Friday with an illness Youth Ryan Kelly Jersey , is also questionable for Sunday’s bout.Bright signs for both second-year players in running back Marlon Mack and safety Malik Hooker, who participated in full on Friday after being limited earlier in the week. Mack will look to continue his strong stretch of play against an aggressive Jaguar defense, while Hooker will try and make life difficult for quarterback Blake Bortles. The Colts offensive line has been completely rebuilt this season. It looks like a whole new unit and that change started with the Colts 6th overall pick Quenton Nelson. His efforts have been rewarded as he was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for October.Let’s just take a moment to appreciate what the Colts’ first round draft pick has accomplished. In the history of the NFL, no rookie guard has ever won NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month. Quenton Nelson started his season off against some of the toughest defensive linemen in the league. He was tried by fire, and has come out the other side hardened and ready for battle. In the month of October the Colts gave up just one sack, against the Patriots, and fell on the missed block by Le’Raven Clark before Anthony Castonzo had returned to the lineup. To say that Nelson has been perfect is a stretch. He’s been beaten, and he certainly needs to improve. But given that he is a mere 8 games into his young career and has already managed to stonewall some of the league’s best defenders speaks volumes to his potential. By and large Youth Quenton Nelson Jersey , his play has been oustanding.Nelson’s impact hasn’t been limited to pass protection either. The Colts have put together back to back 220-yard rushing games, and as a team rushed for over 100 yards the week before as well. With starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo now removing a liablity to Nelson’s left side, we may see even better play over the coming weeks. For those who thought Nelson was not a player not worthy of a 6th overall pick, or that guard is not a position worth investing capital that high, this is further proof that this is not a normal player. Chris Ballard has continued over and over to have the results of his 2018 draft bear immediate fruit, with Nelson’s award standing as the latest example. Congratulations to Quenton Nelson, hopefully Andrew Luck buys him something nice!
Posted: 1/11/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
The Baltimore Ravens are still fighting to end a three-year playoff drought even though they are riding their longest winning streak of the season.The Ravens hold a one-game lead for the sixth and final postseason spot in the AFC. Baltimore (7-5) also is within a half-game of the first-place Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North after the Ravens' 26-16 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.It was their third in a row behind rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson. He has emerged as a playmaker since taking over for Joe Flacco http://www.kansascitychiefsteamonline.com/laurent-duvernay-tardif-jersey , who is battling a hip injury.Baltimore faces its toughest test of the season this week when the Ravens take on the high-powered Kansas City Chiefs.Flacco still has to be cleared by doctors to potentially play in that game. In the meantime, Jackson has shown that he can effectively lead the Ravens offense."He's getting better," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said or Jackson during the coach's Monday news conference. "Football is like that, especially with that position. You do it practice and that's one thing, but there's nothing like the game. The game is where you learn the lessons kind of the hard way."He made a few mistakes that are well-documented. He'll learn from it just like the week before."The Ravens have run for more than 200 yards in each of the last three games. The emergence of Gus Edwards, an undrafted rookie from Rutgers, has coincided with that success. He had two consecutive 100-yard performances before finishing with 82 yards on 21 carries against the Falcons.Edwards has taken over the starting job for Alex Collins, who was placed on IR with an injured foot.The Ravens have been able to dominate time of possession with the revamped running attack, keeping opposing offenses off the field. That strategy will be especially vital this week against Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who has thrown for 3,923 yards with a staggering 41 touchdowns."I feel like we're controlling the clock, keeping our defense off the field, keeping them fresh, and taking the air out of their pass rush," offensive lineman Marshal Yanda said "That's a big deal."The running game has also helped the Ravens defenders stay fresh late in the game. Baltimore has converted a pair turnovers into touchdowns the last two weeks and is ranked No. 1 for overall defense."We really don't care what people say outside," linebacker C.J. Mosley said. "We have a standard as a Ravens defense, whether we're home, away or at a neutral site, on how we want to play football, and that's always been being physical at the point of attack, stopping the run and getting after the quarterback on third down."The Ravens have bounced back from a three-game losing streak heading into their bye. That skid prompted questions about the future of Harbaugh with the franchise.Now Authentic Chris Conley Jersey , Baltimore can control its destiny to end the playoff drought and quiet the critics.Harbaugh is proud of the way his players responded to the adversity."I think we have a lot of leaders and guys that have been through a lot," Harbaugh said. "Our guys have been through a lot of challenges and that's usually the best way of learning how to deal with adversity. I think they have done a good job." Unfortunately for the Kansas City Chiefs, they are heading into their marquee matchup with the New England Patriots rather banged up. I figured with that being the case, we should take a second to talk about all the Chiefs’ injuries headed into this weekend’s game.SafetyDenny Medley-USA TODAY SportsThis is the most intriguing position because the Chiefs had to have wide receiver Marcus Kemp working at the position earlier this week in order to get through workouts. “He’s a dynamic guy,” Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub said this week. “He can do a lot of different things. He’s a good tackler for us on special teams. We needed him at practice to help us get through practice because our numbers are down, so that’s why you’re seeing him out there (on defense).”With Eric Berry still unable to go due to a sore heel and Eric Murray out after injuring his ankle last game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton approached Kemp to step in.“It’s a little bit like riding a bike, but I won’t say I was great at it,” Kemp said. “I’m not going to pretend that I went out there and I was just as good as Eric Berry or anything like that, but after I started going, you kind of get the hang of it, and it started feeling natural again. Again, it’s been two days, so I can’t say that I can go out there an perform at the same level as someone that’s been learning it for years in the NFL, but I feel confident that I have the skills to go out and do what they need me to do.” Kemp will round out a safety group Sunday that will be made up of Ron Parker, Jordan Lucas, Josh Shaw and Leon McQuay (newly added to the active roster on Saturday). Lucas logged 56 snaps on defense and had one of the Chiefs’ four picks against Jacksonville last week after not being used on defense all season. Don’t sleep on Shaw either—some in Cincinnati thought Shaw to be a potential starter before he was injured this preseason.Wide receiver and kick returnerMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsLet’s stick with Kemp, whose first position is of course wide receiver. Kemp was the team’s sixth wideout, but he now moves up to the fifth position with De’Anthony Thomas headed to injured reserve.Kemp is the final receiver in a group that includes Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Chris Conley and Demarcus Robinson. Robinson was actually out-snapped by Thomas on offense last week Womens Terrance Smith Jersey , so I wonder if Kemp sees any time against New England on Sunday.When it comes to kick-returner duties (with Thomas no longer an option), cornerback Tremon Smith could be in the mix after being inactive the last two weeks in favor of Charvarius Ward. Smith offers another option in the secondary and the Chiefs have liked him at returner since the preseason. In case you forgot, Smith’s 40 time was nearly as good as Tyreek Hill’s. “He’s got great speed,” Toub said of Smith in late July. “He’s a 4.3 guy, legit. He’s fast. He’s not as fast as Tyreek (Hill)— that’s a whole other level, but he’s very, very fast. He’s probably our second-fastest player.”Outside linebackerMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsJustin Houston could be out a few weeks and is doubtful to play against the New England Patriots, meaning you should expect to see Dee Ford starting on the left side.I have always felt like Ford was a better linebacker on the left side than the right, and I asked him if he preferred that side on Friday. His answer was interesting.“Moves chance because of where the quarterback’s looking, so when you’re playing on the right side, pretty much you don’t want to speed too much,” he said. “You don’t want to be up the field too much because that’s where the quarterback’s vision is most of the time, so you really want to power and get in his face, get a hand up, beat him inside. The moves change accordingly. The left side, you can go a lot. It depends on that team. I can play either side. We really go off the tackles. That’s the one different thing that we’ve done with Mike (Smith) this year—me and Justin play different tackles depending on what they can and can’t do.”I believe Ford, if he plays mostly on the left, will once again have multiple sacks in this game. Ford leads the NFL in pressures at the moment. Everything the team has been saying this week leads me to believe Breeland Speaks will start on the right side with Tanoh Kpassagnon, who is listed as questionable, providing depth. Nate Orchard and Frank Zombo round out the outside linebacker group.“I think he could come out and help you if needed,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said of Orchard on Friday. “He is good enough to be worked in Womens Reggie Ragland Jersey , plus he was familiar with us being in Cleveland for a year, with this system.”Right guardDenny Medley-USA TODAY SportsWith Laurent Duvernay-Tardif now on injured reserve, Jordan Devey gets the start at right guard this week. “It is going to be (Jordan) Devey in that spot who has experience,” Reid said this week. “We are fortunate to have him where he has played for us and started for us. Everybody is confident in him that he can step in and go. (Laurent) has more experience, obviously, as a starter but we have trust that the next man up we are in good hands there. He will do a good job.”Devey, who was on the Patriots Super Bowl team that defeated the Seahawks a few years back, says he’s prepared for this opportunity.“Throughout my career, that’s how it is every week,” Devey said. “Whether I’m playing, not playing, dressing, not dressing, you have to prepare the same because you never know what will happen. And so, as far as this week it’s business as usual. Prepare the same, study the same and just be ready for the game.”On a completely unrelated but awesome note, Devey has a mullet, one he said was for training camp but has decided to keep as the Chiefs continue to win.“I’m a little superstitious with it, so it’s staying as long as it’s rolling the way that we are.”
Posted: 1/11/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Chicago Bears 2018 Position Battles: Starting outside linebacker desperately needed This wasn’t the strongest draft for pass rushing outside linebackers considering where the Chicago Bears were picking. The free agent class wasn’t the best at that position either http://www.authenticschicagobears.com/cheap-bobby-massie-jersey , so the Bears were forced to shop in the discount bin, so to speak. That’s not to say the guys they picked up can’t be contributors, but in looking at their pick-ups, it’s safe to say they grabbed a couple reclamation projects.But that’s fine. There is some upside in these guys, but the depth at the position could prove to be a problem if at least one of these players can’t come through and become a part of the rotation.Roster LocksLeonard Floyd has been having a nice camp so far, and his first step quickness has proven to be a problem for the Bears’ tackles. Health is the only thing holding him back from a double digit sack season. Rookie Kylie Fitts garnered some positive mention from head coach Matt Nagy earlier this week, but staying healthy was an issue for him during his time at Utah. That’s a big reason he was a day three draft pick. He’s healthy right now, after being banged up in 2016 and 2017, so his athleticism is flashing at camp. Fitts has a high ceiling in my opinion Blue Anthony Miller Jersey , and if he can put it all together I think he’ll eventually be a starter for the Bears. It just may not be this year. Sam Acho was actually second on the Bears last year with 18 quarterback hits. When he took over as a starter half way through the season, I thought he played the best football of his Bears’ career. People forget that Acho had seven sacks as a rookie in 2011 with the Cardinals, and he was solid in 2012 too before tearing up his knee. Acho has made it a point to work on his pass rush repertoire this offseason, so maybe he’s about to have his breakout at 29-years old.A good bet to make itIf Aaron Lynch can get healthy, he’s probably a lock, but he hasn’t been healthy during his short Bears’ career. I liked the signing when the Bears made it because reuniting him with Vic Fangio made perfect sense, but I’m in the ‘I’ll believe it when I see’ mode when it comes to Lynch. On the bubbleIsaiah Irving had a decent preseason last year with the Bears, and he was a late season call up from the practice squad. If the Bears decide to carry five at the position I like his chances, but if they only go four he may end up a practice squad candidate again. The Bears list Jonathan Anderson at outside linebacker this offseason after being listed on the inside previously. At 6’3” Blue Aaron Lynch Jersey , 237 pounds he a little smaller than what they usually have at the position, but he was a 4.54 forty guy at his 2015 TCU pro day. He’s been a good special teamer for the Bears, so maybe he’s trying to prove his versatility to the coaching staff. Veteran Kasim Edebali will also try and stick by virtue of the third phase. He did have five sacks in 2015 with the Saints, so he’ll hope to flash in preseason. Andrew Trumbetti is an undrafted free agent from Notre Dame who is transitioning from defensive end to outside linebacker. If he shows promise at his new position he could land a spot on the practice squad.Elijah Norris is another college defensive end making the switch to OLB. He had six sacks last year as a senior at Shepherd. The Chicago Bears showed they could dominate on defense, even with Khalil Mack out of the lineup.Then again, playing the Jets didn't hurt.The Bears were ready without Mack, shutting down Sam Darnold and New York's struggling offense in a 24-10 victory Sunday they sorely needed."We played together," linebacker Aaron Lynch said. "We played as one, we played aggressive and we had fun doing it. And we attacked the field every time we went out there."There were no eye-popping statistics from any of the Bears' players. Chicago (4-3) had just one sack and no interceptions.But the defense delivered a solid all-around effort http://www.authenticschicagobears.com/cheap-nick-kwiatkoski-jersey , helping the Bears win on a day when Mitchell Trubisky threw for two touchdowns and guard Kyle Long got helped off the field with a right foot injury.The Bears outgained New York 395 yards to 207 and held big advantages in rushing (179-57) and passing (216-15). The Jets didn't even reach 100 yards in total offense until the fourth quarter, and by the time they finally got going, Chicago was putting this one away."I don't want to go back and forth about what any in particular guy does on this defense," defensive end Akiem Hicks said. "I want to talk about our entire defense as a whole, and how dominant we have been and how dominant we will continue to be the rest of the year."Here are some things to know after the Bears bounced back from consecutive losses and handed the Jets their second in a row:SELF-INFLICTEDWhile the Bears' defense did its part, the Jets did plenty to stop themselves.They had false-start penalties on each of their first three drives. They also had one on their first possession of the third quarter, making it tougher to move the ball."We shot ourselves in the foot on that," Jets coach Todd Bowles said. "Especially when the crowd wasn't that loud, those were just concentration things. It was pretty much a different guy each time."RUNNING REVIVALJordan Howard has gone a career-long 10 straight games without a 100-yard rushing effort. But he showed signs of picking it up with 22 carries for 81 yards 鈥?his highest total since he had 82 in the opener against Green Bay.The 22 attempts were the second-most for him this season. And he set up his 2-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter with a 24-yard run Youth Jordan Howard Jersey , his longest of the year.DRIVE EXTENDERMitchell Trubisky's scrambling continues to help keep the Bears moving, even when the passing game has been inconsistent. He ran for four first downs and gained 51 yards on six rushes."We needed to continue to find ways to stay on the field and sometimes it's me pulling the ball down and making the play for the offense," Trubisky said.In the previous game against New England, Trubisky ran for a career-high 81 yards.CATCHING ONJets rookie tight end Christopher Herndon now has touchdown catches in three straight games.He had a 16-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter 鈥?his lone reception. A fourth-round pick from Miami, he has 12 catches for 161 yards.WITHOUT LONGThe Bears have some options if Long is out for a few games or the rest of the season.Veteran Eric Kush could take over for him at right guard, though he has been bothered the past few weeks with a neck injury that kept him out on Sunday. The Bears can also turn to newly acquired Bryan Witzmann, a guard/tackle who signed three weeks ago and has knowledge of the offense because he played in it for the Chiefs under Nagy.
Posted: 1/6/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
It is Week 7 of the NFL season Clayton Fejedelem Jersey , and the fantasy playoffs are inching closer and closer. The first seven weeks probably flew by for those of you dominating your leagues, but some probably can’t wait for it to be over. Don’t be too down, though, upset season is coming, and you can contribute to making your friends and family feeling as bad as you do by knocking them out of playoff contention.NFL Bye Week: Steelers, Seahawks, Raiders and PackersMust startsJoe Mixon (Bengals RB): This isn’t a homer pick. In fact, I usually like to save my Bengals predictions fantasy wise for their fantasy outlook against their opponent that week. However, Mixon has the second-best matchup a running back can have this week as he faces the Chiefs that have allowed 29 points to opposing running backs this season, according to Fantasy Pros.John Brown (Ravens WR): The Ravens receiving production is hard to predict as Brown had 14 targets two weeks ago, and last week he only had two catches. It still feels like he should have a big game, as he is the team’s best deep threat against a Saints defense that has given up the most points to opposing receivers in the NFL.Favorable MatchupsPhillip Lindsay (Broncos RB): Royce Freeman out carried Lindsay for the first time last week, but Lindsay still easily outgained him. It is likely that both will have fantasy relevance against the Cardinals defense that has been the weakest to opposing running backs this season, but the fact Denver is still trying to split this backfield up hurts the ceiling for both players.Jarvis Landry (Browns WR): It has been a weird season for the Browns. They finally got a couple of wins, and Baker Mayfield is starting. However Authentic John Ross Jersey , his receivers have had serious issues with drops. Landry is probably the best option of their crop of receivers facing a Bucs defense that can’t help but get continually torched. Good but not greatKenyan Drake (Dolphins RB): The Dolphins haven’t used Drake too much this season. Well, at east as much as his fantasy owners would like. In PPR leagues he has been fantastic, and that should continue this week against the Lions who have given up 25.9 points a game to opposing running backs. Drake would be higher, but sharing touches with Frank Gore really hurts his overall value.Corey Davis (Titans WR): Davis is the leading receiver for the Titans, and they are going up against the Chargers defense that has given up just over 30 points per game to opposing receivers. I still wouldn’t suggest Davis as anything higher than a second wide receiver this week. I’d feel great about him as a flex though.Temper expectationsAlvin Kamara (Saints RB): Well it was fun having a Kamara led backfield while it lasted. In Mark Ingram’s return from suspension, he rushed the ball 16 times for 53 yards and two touchdowns. Kamara, meanwhile, only got nine total touches. Kamara will still have fantasy relevance, but you could probably sit him against the Ravens this week.DeAndre Hopkins (Texans WR): Hopkins will be facing Jalen Ramsey this week. The Cowboys had a surprising field day against this defense, but I’m leaning towards that being a little bit of a fluke. Hopkins should still be in your lineup, but don’t expect him to carry you to a win this week.Dalvin Cook (Vikings RB): Cook was a limited participant in the Vikings’ practice last week and was inactive against the Cardinals. However, he’s been a full participant this week, which means he should end up playing. He hasn’t inspired much confidence from fantasy owners this season, but he is set to go up against the Jets, who have allowed over 20 points per game to opposing running backs over the last five weeks Youth Joe Mixon Jersey , 11th-most in the NFL. Quarterbacks streamBaker Mayfield (Browns QB): I know the receivers have been letting him down this season, but he has one of the best matchups of any quarterback who is likely available on the waiver wire.Joe Flacco (Ravens QB): The Ravens will be playing the Saints who have been pretty soft against opposing quarterbacks. Flacco may not be as available as Mayfield, but he could be in line for a bigger game.Defense StreamColts defense against Buffalo: Keeping the tradition alive. Odds are someone may have scooped up the Colts defense because on paper they have quite a few matchups in a row against bad offenses, but I’m not as high on playing them week to week given they are the Colts defense.This week though, there aren’t many better options available on the waiver wire.Falcons defense against Giants: The Falcons will be home against the Giants who haven’t looked great this season. The offensive line isn’t protecting Eli Manning at all. The only bright spot is Saquon Barkley is the real deal. Still, the Falcons could get their hands on a few turnovers. Tight end streamC.J. Uzomah (Bengals TE): Uzomah is my only streamer for this week. He is the only guy on the waiver wire who is going to be getting as many targets as Uzomah will the rest of the season. That being said, Uzomah isn’t going to be a great option to play weekly, but given the state of the position, he could be your best option going forward due to volume alone. After a painful loss in Week 6, the lives of the Cincinnati Bengals’ are not getting any easier as they prepare to face the Kansas City Chiefs. Lead by the young and dangerous Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, the AFC West leaders have a high-powered offense, with a strong cast of play-makers and a dangerous pass-rushing unit.Many will write the Bengals off in this game, but with some excellent preparation, they will have a shot. Here are the 5 keys to the Bengals success in this game.1. Score... Score a lotThe Chiefs have perhaps the most prolific offenses in football and have averaged 35.8 points per game this season. The Bengals defense has struggled throughout the season, but even if they play an incredible game http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-billy-price-jersey , they are going to give up points to the Chiefs. As a result the Bengals absolutely cannot waste opportunities on offense. The Chiefs punted once in Week 6 against the New England Patriots. That was one more punt than the Patriots, and the Chiefs lost 40-43. This game is likely to be a shootout, and the Bengals must score early and often. If the John Ross is able to return from injury, he will give the offense a big boost and open up more opportunities for A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd. 2. Confuse and Contain Patrick MahomesThe conventional way to play an athletic quarterback is to keep him contained. This means rushing only four players and having the edge rushers focus more on contain than pressure.Teams have done a pretty good job of holding the edge against Mahomes, but he’s shown that this may not be the best way to defend against him. Instead of panicking when the pocket is collapsing, Mahomes tends to escape by stepping up in front of the edge rusher, rather than scrambling to one side or the other. Another option is to have one the linebackers spy Mahomes, but this is problematic for two reasons. The first, is that is takes one of the team’s linebackers away from their coverage responsibilities. This is a major problem considering the issues that the Bengals have had covering tight ends and running backs this season. The other problem is the question of who can run with Mahomes. Vontaze Burfict would probably be the best option for this task, but it would certainly be difficult for him as Mahomes has outrun defensive backs this season. One way to both pressure and contain Mahomes would be to send a 6-man blitz and play man across the board. It is risky not only because they would be playing man coverage with no deep help, but also because if one player did not get in their gap Mahomes could run for a huge gain. Obviously they cannot do this every play, but blitzing at the right time and showing a blitz at other times then dropping into zone or Cover 1 the Bengals could confuse Mahomes. This will end up creating turnover opportunities, and it will be up to the defense to capitalize on them.3. Don’t Let Travis Kelce Run FreeSteelers tight end Vance McDonald was a major problem for the Bengals defense in Week 6, now they must figure out how to cover one of the best tight ends in the league in Kelce. The Bengals must play tight coverage on the Pro Bowl pass catcher, because when he has the ball Jessie Bates III Jersey , he’s a fiend for yards after the catch. They must not let him run free down the field, and instead jam him at the line of scrimmage or match up quickly with him. Burfict would be ideal for this task. This would put the Bengals in a bit of a bind because if their best linebacker is focused on the tight end, he won’t be able to help out if the quarterback scrambles. One option would be to have him jam Kelce on the line, then drop into a spy role on Mahomes.4. Prevent Miscellaneous Big PlaysPreventing big plays by the Chiefs’ offense is a herculean task. Mahomes is an extremely talented young quarterback with a wealth of talent around him including Hill, Kelce, Kareem Hunt, and Sammy Watkins. The Bengals will need to be flexible on defense, and adjust properly to the different formations and motions that the Chiefs utilize. They will need to stay on top of deep passes and rally to make tackles on shorter passes and jets sweeps.5. Use the ClockIn Week 6, the Patriots became the first team to defeat the Chiefs in 2018. They were able to prevent big plays and hold the Chiefs to 9 points in the first half, but head coach Bill Belichick knew that an offense that powerful could not be contained for long. He knew that the Patriots needed to outscore them on offense, but also that they needed to limit the Chief’s chances to score. This means controlling the ball. The Patriots failed to prevent big plays in the second half, but were able to beat the Chiefs in time of possession, possessing the ball for 36:09. The Bengals will need give the Chiefs a heavy dose of Joe Mixon running the ball and use all of the play clock on every down, to let their defense rest on the sideline and limit the Chiefs’ opportunities offensively.
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The Chicago Bears lost on Sunday in a game that they should have won.After finally getting into a groove in the third quarter Youth Mitchell Trubisky Jersey , the Bears blew an 11-point lead to the Miami Dolphins. From poor play calling to a lack of defensive stamina to several blown calls by referees, there were several factors that contributed to Chicago’s second loss of the season.One of those factors, though, was not quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Despite a relatively slow start, Trubisky put together one of the best outings of his career. Completing 22 of his 31 passing attempts for a total of 316 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, the sophomore signal-caller reached his second-highest total in both passing yards and touchdowns in a single game. This performance comes just one game after his outing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when he became the first quarterback in Bears history to throw for six touchdowns since Johnny Lujack in 1949, as well as the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for six or more touchdowns and over 350 passing yards while simultaneously rushing for over 50 yards.The statistics are impressive, sure, but Trubisky is also improving in the eye test. He can still struggle with forcing throws and trusting his initial read too much, but he has also shown better poise in the pocket than he did earlier in the year. His touch on deep throws is starting to look more like that of a true franchise quarterback. His accuracy and overall ball placement on shorter and intermediate passes have gotten better, too. Add those to his physical attributes - his size speed and arm strength - and Trubisky is playing the part of a quarterback capable of winning many football games.What may be just as impressive Blue Eddie Goldman Jersey , though, is that the 2017 first-round pick managed to put together two fantastic showings in back-to-back games. The fact that Trubisky threw for over 300 yards in consecutive performances shows that he might not be just a flash in the pan. He will still have his fair share of down games, as basically all young quarterbacks do. However, he proved to the world this week that he is not just a one-week wonder: he is the real deal.Typically, the North Carolina alumnus is flanked by dominant defensive play. Bears fans saw firsthand in Week 4 what their team is capable of when both sides of the ball show up. This week, that was not the case. Even though Chicago’s vaunted defense put together their worst performance of the 2018 season, these types of games will not be the norm for them. They won’t be playing in stadiums with heat indexes of over 100 degrees every week.Sunday’s loss will undoubtedly come back to bite the Bears later on in the season. With a challenging schedule still ahead of them, they cannot afford to fall victim to any more trap games this season. In the end, though, the most important thing is that Mitchell Trubisky is progressing well. With all of the moves that the Bears made to invest in him, it is encouraging to see their strategy paying off.Jacob Infante is a Chicago Bears writer at SB Nation’s Windy City Gridiron. He is also the lead NFL Draft analyst for The Blitz Network, and he additionally covers the NFL Draft for USA Today’s Draft Wire. He can be reached through Twitter @jacobinfante24 or e-mailed at [email protected] Back before the season started and Khalil Mack was on the trading block from Oakland http://www.authenticschicagobears.com/cheap-adrian-amos-jersey , the Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers were two of the teams in hottest pursuit of the star pass rusher.The Bears won that competition and are headed to the playoffs for the first time in eight years, while the 49ers are headed to another disappointing finish thanks in part to a lack of defensive playmakers."You never know 100 percent when you're right in the middle of it, because there's so many different rumors that fly around," Bears coach Matt Nagy said about the competition for Mack. "We were just concerned with what we could control, and making sure we did everything we possibly could to get him, and that's what we did."The 49ers (4-10) will get to see what they missed out on in person in their home finale on Sunday against Mack and the NFC North champion Bears (10-4).The Niners believed they offered a more lucrative package for Mack than the deal the Bears made for a package that featured two first-round picks. But the Raiders ultimately decided to send Mack halfway across the country instead of down the street."I think you'd have to ask the Raiders," coach Kyle Shanahan said when asked why the deal didn't get done. "But, it takes two teams to get it done and we went as hard as we could on it."Mack would have provided a big boost in San Francisco, where the Niners have generated an NFL-low five takeaways and are on pace for the fewest ever in a season.With Mack forcing a league-high six fumbles and providing pressure that has led to some of Chicago's league-best 26 interceptions, the Bears lead the NFL with 35 takeaways and 107 points off turnovers."I thought they were very good last year," Shanahan said. "They've always had a good scheme, and then they added an elite player. Their whole defense has played in this scheme another year. They've stayed healthy Blue Dion Sims Jersey , which makes everyone get better, which I thought they were close to one of the better ones last year. Then, you add in a guy like Khalil and the results are pretty predictable."Here are some other things to watch:BIG DEALBears general manager Ryan Pace made a bold move when he traded up a spot with San Francisco to draft quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick in 2017. It's no surprise that deal came up this week, though he played against the 49ers as a rookie."It was a crazy night for sure," said coach Matt Nagy, an assistant on Andy Reid's staff in Kansas City at the time. "I don't think many people saw that coming, but what a great move by Ryan to do that. That's what's so neat about that draft. I always love listening to all the pundits talking about 10 minutes after the draft ends, 'it was a great draft or it was a poor draft.' I've always been amazed by that."Trubisky has tied a franchise single-season record with four 300-yard passing games and was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate. He bounced back last week from one of his worst games as a pro, completing 20 of 28 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns. He threw no interceptions after matching a career high with three the previous week against the Rams, and he went from posting a personal-low 33.3 rating to a 120.4.BIG BUCKThe Niners do have one impact pass rusher with DeForest Buckner recording 11 sacks to join Aldon Smith as the only San Francisco players to reach double figures in the past 16 seasons. Buckner generated plenty of pass pressure his first two seasons, but finished with just nine sacks as he was unable to finish plays off. That's changed this season, especially the past few weeks when he has 6陆 sacks the past six games."It's really just taking advantage of the one-on-ones I get and also finding a way through double teams Blue Tarik Cohen Jersey ," he said. "There were a couple of times this year I got a sack through double teams. It's just finding that extra step and finishing."PASSING "PAPA BEAR"Nagy has a chance to pass "Papa Bear." After joining founder George Halas as the only rookie coaches in franchise history with 10 wins, he has a chance to set the record this week. Halas went 10-1-2 in 1920, the first year for a franchise then known as the Decatur Staleys.STILL A FANNiners kicker Robbie Gould still has ties to the Bears, after spending his first 11 years in Chicago. Gould was cut in 2016, but still roots for his old team. Gould's family still lives in Chicago and Gould decided to buy playoff tickets to take his two sons to the Bears first playoff game in eight years."I've never been able to take them to an NFL game," he said. "They've always come to watch dad play. It will be my turn to hang out."Gould has made 80 of 83 field goals since being cut by the Bears, including all five in a win at Chicago last year.AP Sports Writer Andrew Seligman in Lake Forest, Illinois, contributed to this story
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Prediction: Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald to break single-season defensive tackle sack record Sometimes you wonder how a great thing could get better. That’s fair. I mean White Robert Woods Jersey , how much better can you get then great?Well, don’t ask Los Angeles Rams’ General Manager Les Snead.He already had at his disposal an incredible defensive line duo of all-world DT Aaron Donald, and perennially underrated DT Michael Brockers.That’s when he decided to “strike while the iron is hot” so-to-speak, adding five-time pro bowl DT Ndamukong Suh to the mix.In theory, it’ll be an unstoppable marriage of the likes that we may have never seen before. Donald individually may be the best player in the entire league (he is) Youth Rob Havenstein Jersey , and adding a top-notch run stopper in Suh next to Brockers allows Donald more freedom. One addition helps all three players across the board with offense’s needing to choose which defender they want to key in on every particular play.So what does this lead us to?The single-season record for an NFL defensive tackle is 18.0 sacks. This record was achieved by Keith Millard in 1989 for the Minnesota Vikings:Since adding the aforementioned Suh, I predict that Aaron Donald will break this long-standing record.Yes, I really believe the man who held out all of training camp will surpass 18 sacks in 2018, so long as the health permits it.In 2017, Donald achieved 11.0 sacks in only 14 games. Not only that Youth Austin Blythe Jersey , but by my count 3-4 potential sacks were negated by penalties, a weird forced fumble/recovery vs the Tennessee Titans, and a missed sack vs the Dallas Cowboys.Here’s the highlight tape:Get ready Rams nation. Just when you think it couldn’t be topped, it will be. Prepare yourself for a downright legendary season from the leagues best player — Aaron Donald. After giving Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers a discount double check, the 8-0 Los Angeles Rams will travel to the big easy to take on Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in an effort to remain the only undefeated team in the NFL.Including the Saints White Ndamukong Suh Jersey , the Rams upcoming three opponents have a combined record of 17-5. The Seattle Seahawks have quietly recovered from a slow start to get above .500 and the Kansas City Chiefs are arguably the top team in the AFC.So while the Rams kicked off this rough four game stretch with a dramatic victory against the Packers, they are far from being out of the weeds. However, if they are able to come out of this trio of upcoming games at 11-0 they have no opponents after their week 12 bye who current hold a winning record.And the pressure will begin to mount for a perfect 16-0 season.Remaining 2018 OpponentsWeekOpponentCurrent RecordWeekOpponentCurrent Record
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Dak Prescott dealt with the uncertainty of running back Ezekiel Elliott's looming six-game suspension last year when the Dallas Cowboys slid from an NFC-best 13 wins to out of the playoffs.Now the star quarterback faces the unknown of a revamped and largely unproven group of receivers after the departures of Jason Witten and Dez Bryant.Elliott Connor Williams Jersey , Prescott's fellow rookie standout from two years ago, is the supposed sure thing for a team looking up in the NFC East at defending Super Bowl champ Philadelphia.Cole Beasley is the leader of the pass-catchers simply by having the longest Dallas tenure. The Cowboys have high hopes for newcomer Allen Hurns and rookie Michael Gallup, the first receiver drafted by the club (third round) after dumping franchise touchdown catch leader Bryant in a cost-cutting move."They're very hungry guys," Prescott said. "They're guys that you may not necessarily know their names, but that's what they want. They want to get out there and make those plays, let people know that they can play and they can play at a high level."Elliott ended up serving the suspension over domestic violence allegations halfway through last season, triggering a three-game losing streak that was too much to overcome in the tight NFC playoff race.Throw in the retirement of Tony Romo last year spurred by the sudden emergence of Prescott, and the team's three most important offensive players for a decade have been replaced by Elliott, the 2016 rushing champion Authentic Joe Looney Jersey , and his backfield mate, that year's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year."It just shows how fast time goes and how quick things can change, but I think we're both ready to embrace this leadership role," said Elliott, who still led the NFL in yards rushing per game last season. "We're excited for this year to come."Some story lines with the Cowboys seeking a third straight winning season for the first time since the last of five straight in 2009:DEFENSE FIRST?The Cowboys have been offense-first just about every year since coach Jason Garrett joined the staff as offensive coordinator in 2007. If the preseason is any indication, Dallas might feed off its defense for once.DeMarcus Lawrence, who tied for second in the NFL with 14陆 sacks last season, leads a pass rush that's gaining momentum. Linebacker Sean Lee is ready to be a face for the franchise with Witten gone. Starting cornerbacks Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie head a batch of young potential playmakers in the secondary."I don't like to get ahead of ourselves — we have to put the stats down and the wins and the turnovers," Lee said."Until we do that Youth Kavon Frazier Jersey , we can't say anything. When it comes to the right group of guys, guys who love to work and are talented, it's as good a group as I've worked with."UNCERTAINTY AT CENTERFour-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick is out indefinitely after getting diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome , a disorder that attacks the nervous system. His absence raises a big question with the other part of the Elliott formula: a vaunted offensive line.Right guard Zack Martin injured a knee in the preseason, but expects to be ready for the opener Sept. 9 at Carolina.Left tackle Tyron Smith has battled back issues the past few seasons. Joe Looney is set to step in for Frederick, and the Cowboys have a rookie at left guard in second-round pick Connor Williams.LEE'S CO-STARSWhile Lee anchors the linebackers, Jaylon Smith has the Cowboys encouraged about his continuing recovery from a devastating knee injury in his final college game. He missed his rookie year while rehabbing and struggled with consistency last season.Smith is playing without a brace this year and believes he has regained the form that made him a potential top-10 pick coming out of Notre Dame. First-round pick Leighton Vander Esch missed the latter part of training camp with a groin injury, but is expected to contribute as a rookie.THICK AND THINDepth will be a strength with pass rushing if Randy Gregory and David Irving can overcome substance-abuse suspensions and contribute a few sacks apiece. Gregory was suspended all of last season, but has looked promising at camp. Irving is opening the season with a four-game suspension for the second year in a row.The Cowboys are dangerously thin at safety. Jeff Heath is the only healthy player with significant experience. Xavier Woods (hamstring) and Kavon Frazier (shoulder) were injured in consecutive weeks in the preseason. Woods might miss the opener http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-anthony-brown-jersey , while Frazier says he will play.Roster update: Cowboys place Parker Ehinger on injured reserve, bring back Kadeem Edwards It was just over a week ago that the Dallas Cowboys traded cornerback Charvarius Ward to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for offensive lineman Parker Ehinger. Unfortunately, Parker’s season with the Cowboys is effectively over as he’s been placed on injured reserve.The Cowboys are bringing back offensive lineman Kadeem Edwards to take the now-open spot on their roster, but this is certainly not ideal. The offensive line feels like it’s been riddled with injuries all the way from the top down to the bottom, and you never want to have this happen to someone in general, let alone to someone you just acquired.We applauded (rightfully so, none of this changes that) the Cowboys flipping Ward for depth where they needed it along the offensive line. It’s certainly frustrating to look back on in hindsight because Ehinger is now on injured reserve, but the Cowboys utilized a surplus to their benefit. Unfortunately things took a twisted turn before the regular season even began.