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    • Titans fans have been pretty stressed out about yesterday’s performance against the Steelers—particularly Marcus Mariota’s—so to distract from that , let’s focus on the positive.The Titans took steps to improve on both sides of the ball in the offseason. This is a young team with a new head coach/offensive coordinator tandem in Mike Vrabel/Matt LaFleur. With that said, who was your favorite acquisition? Choices can include free agent signings, draft picks, and new members of the coaching staff.For my pick, I’m going with Dion Lewis. I’ve already explained how I feel Lewis is the more complete, versatile back in comparison to Derrick Henry, but it’s true. He has better vision, better receiving skills, better pass blocking, and perhaps the better runner in general. He should not be limited to being a third down back, as he can find success on the first two downs as well.Now that my pick is out of the way, who was your favorite offseason acquisition? List your pick in the comment section below.Six under the radar Titans to watch during Thursday night’s preseason game against the Packers The Titans kickoff their 2018 preseason schedule on Thursday night as they travel to Green Bay to take on Aaron Rodgers Brett Hundley/DeShone Kizer and the Packers. While it sounds like we will at least get to see Marcus Mariota and most of the starters for a series or two, most of the action will be carried by backups and players competing for spots on the 53-man roster. Lots of these guys will end up on practice squads or doing something besides playing on Sundays this fall, but some of them could turn in to NFL stars. You don’t have to look far to find examples of unheralded prospects that turned their shot in to outstanding NFL careers. Josh Kline, Malcolm Butler, Wesley Woodyard, Will Compton, and Quinton Spain are all projected starters for the Titans who were once undrafted free agents scrapping for a spot in their first training camp. In recent years, late round picks like Jayon Brown, Tajae Sharpe, and LeShaun Sims have all impressed in preseason work and eventually earned contributing roles during their rookie season.These football rags-to-riches stories are far less common than first-round-pick-to-riches stories to be sure , but they do happen. So while everyone is excited to see what guys like Harold Landry, Dane Cruikshank, Malcolm Butler, and Dion Lewis look like in two-tone blue, the players who see the most action will likely be guys that the casual fan has never heard of. Here are some of my favorites based on what I’ve seen at camp so far.Deontay Burnett, WR, #80Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY SportsBurnett has been a star of training camp, catching everything thrown his way and working himself open consistently. He won’t wow you with his size — 6’-0” and 186 pounds — or his speed — though his 4.70 40-time from the USC pro day is misleading as he was rehabbing from a torn hamstring at the time — but he’s a smooth route runner with outstanding acceleration and great hands.During his final season with the Trojans he finished with 86 catches for 1,114 yards and 9 touchdowns which was good for Second-Team All-Pac-12 honors. One of the amazing things about Burnett is that he’s still just 20 years old and won’t turn 21 until midway through his rookie season. Burnett is working almost exclusively as a slot receiver for the Titans, in the mix with veterans Michael Campanaro and Nick Williams. If the results are anything like what we’ve seen in practice so far, Burnett will be one of the busiest Titans receivers on Thursday night. He has consistently been a playmaker and has made some of the most spectacular catches of camp. He also will likely get a chance to return some punts.Anthony Firkser, TE, #86Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesDid you know that Anthony Firkser went to Harvard? You probably will by the end of Thursday’s broadcast. He’s another guy who has really made some waves at camp. At 6’-2” and 246 pounds, Firkser is more of a move tight end/H-back type in the mold Delanie Walker and Jonnu Smith rather than a hulking in-line blocking tight end like Luke Stocker. Firkser was Harvard’s leading receiver during his senior year in 2016 and spent time with the Jets and Chiefs practice squads last season before the Titans added him in May. Firkser has been excellent in camp over the last couple weeks, consistently getting open and making plays in the passing game. He’s been rewarded for that performance with some first team snaps when Walker, Smith, or Stocker have had days off.With the Titans release of Phillip Supernaw, the light of hope to find a spot on the roster continues to flicker for Firkser. I don’t think he’s taking a roster spot from Stocker because they are two very different types of players — if anyone is pressing Stocker it will be the newly signed Jermaine Cunningham or Tim Semisch — but the question for Firkser is whether he can convince the team to keep four tight ends on the 53-man roster. Even if he doesn’t end up sneaking on the roster, I expect Firkser to make some plays in Green Bay. Devin Ross, WR, #83Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty ImagesLike Burnett Cheap Jonnu Smith Jersey , Ross is a UDFA wide receiver, one of five the Titans added after surprisingly not drafting a pass catcher in the 2018 draft. He started camp quietly, but has built some momentum recently, even earning a stray first team rep on Tuesday. Ross is undersized at 5’-9” and 192 pounds, but in a league where the best receiver is the 5’-10”, 181 pound Antonio Brown, being a smaller receiver is really not an issue. Don’t take that as me comparing Ross to AB. I only point that out to say that guys like Ross shouldn’t be written off solely because of their size. If you can get open and catch the ball, you can play receiver in this league regardless of height. Ross wasn’t as prolific as Burnett was in college, but then again he didn’t have Sam Darnold throwing him the ball either. His best season came in 2016 when he grabbed 69 passes for 787 yards and 5 touchdowns, doing his best work from the slot. The Titans have mostly used Ross outside though, using his 4.48 speed to stretch the defense similar to the way the first team offense is utilizing Taywan Taylor. Ross is another guy that could see some work in the return game as well. It will be interesting to see if Ross can continue his upward momentum in Lambeau.Sharif Finch, EDGE, #56Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty ImagesAccording to, Finch got the largest signing bonus ($16,000) of any Titans UDFA which indicates that the team liked him quite a bit and there was likely hot competition for his signature. As a 6’-4”, 250 pound edge rusher with a 4.65 40-yard dash and a 7.00 second 3-cone drill coming off an 8.5 sack season, it’s a little surprising that nobody took a flier on him late in the draft. Finch’s college tape is pretty impressive and he’s flashed a few times early in camp, getting pressure against the second team offense before going down with a mystery injury. However, he returned to practice this week and was quickly back to making his presence felt. Finch is battling Josh Carraway and Gimel President for the 5th and likely final spot at outside linebacker. We will probably see a lot of all three of those guys in Thursday night’s game so it’ll be interesting to see who is able to separate from that bunch. Rico Gafford, CB, #40Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY SportsGafford is another player that was somewhat surprisingly undrafted. For a league that is notoriously obsessed with speed Cheap Dennis Kelly Jersey , letting a guy that reportedly ran in the low-to-mid-4.2s during his pro day go undrafted is unusual. Gafford’s freaky athleticism aside, the guy has really made some plays in camp, including a really nice interception during Tuesday’s practice when he peeled back off his underneath receiver to pick off a pass intended for another target in the back of the end zone. At 5’-10” and 184 pounds, some of the natural questions that Gafford will need to answer in preseason will be how he holds up against more physical receivers and whether he can tackle in run support. Gafford was really looking like a long shot until Tye Smith’s injury opened the door for a 5th or 6th corner to sneak on to the roster. Right now I feel like Gafford is 6th behind Kalan Reed, but he’s been headed in the right direction it seems. He also may get a chance to use that blazing speed as a kick returner on Thursday night. Akrum Wadley, RB, #38Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY SportsI expect David Fluellen, Wadley, and Dalyn Dawkins to all get a ton of opportunity in the preseason. We kind of know what Fluellen can do. He’s a big body, no-nonsense runner who gets what is blocked but not much more and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I’d be pretty surprised if he didn’t end up making it on the roster one way or another. Wadley, on the other hand, is a 5’-10”, 194 pound dynamo who, at times, can resemble Dion Lewis Lite with his ability to make quick bursts and contribute as a pass catcher out of the backfield. At Iowa, Wadley surpassed the 1,000-yard mark on the ground for two straight seasons while also chipping in over 300 yards receiving both years. He’s another guy that was a surprise to find undrafted this spring and while he’s been up and down in camp, he has seemed to flash a bit more over the last few days. Wadley will need to either beat out Fluellen or convince the Titans that they need to keep four running backs on the 53-man roster by the end of preseason. He will also have some competition from Dawkins who is a very similar style runner to Wadley (and wears jersey number 39 which makes it really hard to tell them apart at first glance). I expect to see a lot of Wadley on Thursday night and I’m excited to see what he can do.
    • EThe early lead the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles conceded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had many people asking Womens Chris Long Jersey , “what happened? Who is at fault?”Rest assured there is plenty of blame to go around for a defensive performance that was gashed for 436 total yards. But where does it land? Let’s run through some possible culprits and get to the bottom of it.RUN DEFENSE...Might as well keep it moving because this wasn’t close to the issue. The Eagles run defense stifled the Buccaneers ground game, holding them to 44 yards on 22 carries (removing the end of first half kneel down).Overall, the Buccaneers had a paltry 23% success rate pounding the rock and only two successful runs in the second half as they attempted to salt the game away. 16 runs went for 3 yards or less, with 9 of those being stuffed for zero or negative yards.The entire front seven front six were key performers in this area. The Buccaneers offensive line simply could not win one-on-one battles in the trenches; nor could they get to the second level to cut off the Eagles linebackers. This area was a big win and set the defense up in plus situations while also forcing the Buccaneers to pass to win in early downs and late in the game.GENERATING PRESSURE鈥FF tabbed quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick with 66% throws being released in under 2.5 seconds. Through my own charting, I found that he released the ball within one hitch of his final drop step 71% of the time.Let’s compare time-to-throw with Nick Foles, who held on to the bar far too long either through fault of his own or due to the lack of separation from his receivers (both are true). Foles released the ball at an average of 2.92 seconds. Fitzpatrick blurs past that with a lightning quick 2.21. The living conditions were quite different, but the contrast is still stark.Getting rid of the ball fast is all gum drops and lollipops but what impact did it have? First, it negated a pass rush for the Eagles that performed well. Well, mostly, Fletcher Cox still got home once (yay).While the New Orleans Saints struggled to generate a push (18%) in Week 1, the Eagles ranked 6th (37%) in applying pressure in Week 2. That’s despite the ball getting out in three steps. It was consistent throughout the game too, just not effective. Why?When Fitzpatrick was under pressure he was sacked twice but otherwise had a productive day. He went 7 of 11 for 110 yards, 3 touchdowns with a 136.4 QB Rating. So I’ll ask the question again. Why was the pass rush productive, but not effective?COVERAGE鈥he Saints were abused in the passing game by playing press and getting balls thrown before they could get their heads around. Fitzpatrick would identify his primary read pre-snap based on the depth of the cornerback and leverage of the safety and simply put it up for his receiver to make a play. Time and time again his receivers made those plays.The Eagles don’t press on the outside nearly as much as the Saints, so you would figure off coverage wouldn’t allow him to be as effective. You would be I was wrong.When the Eagles played off and in their standard cover 3, things were easy for Fitzpatrick. Simple curls turned into world beaters thanks to the ball getting out quicker than the flat zone can get to the spot.On 3rd & 5 in the 3rd quarter, Chris Godwin does to the Eagles what the Buccaneers did all day. Ran a quick curl and received the throw before Jordan Hicks’ flat zone could cut underneath. Ronald Darby starts with a 7-yard cushion and Godwin has plenty of space to gear down and sit in the void.These were the types of situations the Eagles needed to be in but were not put in a position to win. The formula was too simple for the Buccaneers. Curls, comebacks, slants, go-flat route combinations, everything worked against a secondary playing on their heels on the outside.Self-aware of their defects in the run game, the Buccaneers didn’t always wait until third down to air it out, where they finished middle of the pack for conversions (40%). On second down they took to the passing game to convert 10 of 16 attempts for first downs. Removing the 4th quarter to eliminate game script weight, the Buccaneers passed on 87% of their second down plays, the second highest rate in the league. The Eagles were caught off guard, out of place, and without answers.There are too many examples to show in this regard, so with that I’ll move on. If you’ve seen one play clip, you’ve essentially seen them all.INEFFECTIVE BLITZING...The Eagles don’t blitz much because they can get home with four consistently. The same , as noted above, was true against the Buccaneers. When they did blitz, which only happened on six occasions (17%), it was a disaster.They ran those six blitzes into a play-action wall four times, and Fitzpatrick released the ball quickly five times. The result was 5/6, 136 yards and a touchdown. That touchdown was the first play of the game. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz sent a heater, with Darby coming from his outside corner position plus a little extra from the linebackers.That’s Jalen Mills linked up with DeSean Jackson at the top of the screen. Mills is undoubtedly catching heat for this play, but it’s not his fault. You could even blame Schwartz for not seeing what everybody in the stadium saw coming, but that would be wrong too.Safety Malcolm Jenkins took blame for the play after the game, as he should have. He has deep middle third responsibility, but he gets greedy. He banks on the blitz getting home quicker than it does and attempts to undercut the route.One greedy mistake by Jenkins, one egregiously poor tackle by Darby.. you take those two plays out of the equation and it alters the landscape of the game entirely. Unfortunately, you could say that for almost any football game. Those plays happened, and they cost the Eagles dearly.Even without those two plays, the efficiency of the Buccaneers offense put them in a position to win. The problem for the Eagles was execution and game plan. If you can’t counter quick strike offenses despite a top-notch pass rush, what good is the pass rush? It’s not worth much when your strategy for the defensive backfield is based on fear.In summation, the Schwartz’s design lacked creativity and adaptability. If they didn’t lose to two big plays, they were going to lose by death of a thousand 3-step drops. Schwartz stuck to his guns and lost. Ultimately, the blame lays squarely on his shoulders.After his Week 1 performance against the Atlanta Falcons, one lost battle isn’t the end of the world. How he proceeds from here will be the real story.Should the Eagles have interest in Josh Gordon? The Cleveland Browns made some big news on Saturday evening by surprisingly announcing they’re releasing Josh Gordon. But it appears they might not be releasing the 27-year-old after all. NFL insider Adam Schefter is reporting the Browns will actually be trading Gordon and Ian Rapoport says up to five teams are interested in acquiring him.With Philadelphia looking into wide receiver help recently, it’s only fair to ask: Should the Eagles take a shot on Gordon?The case for Josh GordonGordon is certainly an intriguing talent. At 6-3, 225 pounds, he boasts a good blend of size and athleticism. He had an incredible 2013 campaign with Cleveland when he logged 87 receptions for a whopping 1,646 yards (18.9 average!) and nine receiving touchdowns. He also rushed for 88 yards on five attempts that year. Gordon accomplished those numbers despite having the likes of Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, and Brian Hoyer as his quarterbacks that year. If there are any doubts about his talent, which I doubt there are, just watch his highlights.Now for the part when the Eagles come in. They’ve obviously been looking receiver help recently. The Eagles showed interest in the following wide outs this week: Corey Coleman (signed with the Patriots), Breshad Perriman , Kamar Aiken (signed with the Eagles), and Shane Wynn. Coleman and Perriman are worth highlighting as former first-round picks who flamed out with the teams that originally drafted them. Gordon’s situation isn’t identical to theirs, of course, but it’s not totally dissimilar to that mold. The Eagles are interested in receiver help since their current corps isn’t in great shape. Their current group of receivers combined for a mere 43 receiving yards on nine receptions (a putrid 4.7 yards per reception) in Week 1. Projected No. 1 receiver Alshon Jeffery returned to practice this week but he still hasn’t been cleared for contact drills. Mack Hollins isn’t eligible to return to the active roster until after Week 8 since he was placed on injured reserve. Shelton Gibson, who is questionable for Sunday’s game, popped up on the injury report with a knee injury. If he can’t play, the Eagles will be down to the following receivers against the Buccaneers: Nelson Agholor, Mike Wallace, DeAndre Carter, and the aforementioned Aiken. Not ideal.Adding Gordon at a low-risk cost feels like the kind of move reigning NFL Executive of the Year Howie Roseman would make. The cap-strapped Eagles are in position to take a risk on Gordon’s affordable $790,001 cap hit this year. Not to mention that he’s set to be a restricted free agent after this season, which means he should be relatively cheap and easy to retain for at least one more year beyond 2018. Again, if the cost is low, why not take a risk on Gordon?The case against Josh GordonAlthough talented, Gordon is clearly troubled. He’s played in just 11 out of 65 possible regular season games since the 2014 season. Gordon missed two entire seasons after being suspended for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy and then checking himself into a rehabilitation facility. After being patient with him for so long, the Browns finally decided they’re done with him. There are a number of reasons why that appears to be the case. A sampling:Gordon is just way too unreliable for the Eagles to give up any kind of significant resources to acquire him. And even though Philadelphia’s receiving corps situation might seem dire, all hope is not lost. Jeffery is expected to be back sooner than later. Hollins should be ready to play after Week 8. Wallace was held without a catch in Week 1, yes, but the speedy vet ran two of the top 10 fastest routes in the league per Sheil Kapadia. Agholor had a very strong training camp and there’s reason to believe he’ll be more effective than he was against Atlanta. Carter and Gibson had good summers as well; they earned their roster spots. I think the Eagles can ultimately get by with the pass catchers they already have. The verdictAgain, if the Eagles can acquire Gordon for very little risk (like a sixth-round pick), then I guess sure, why not.Ultimately, though, I think the idea of Gordon is much more tantalizing than the reality of him. How can a team truly trust he’s not going to get suspended for violating the league’s conduct policy once again? He’s skating on very, very thin ice. I think too often fans get obsessed with the idea of their team getting a “steal.” We see this in the draft every year with players falling lower than expected. Sometimes taking a chance on those guys works out. But there are many times when it just doesn’t and in hindsight it wasn’t hard to see why teams passed on those guys. It’s fun to think about the Eagles adding Gordon at a low cost and him coming in and being this awesome weapon for the reigning Super Bowl champs. But I just think that’s much more fantasy than it is reality. Besides, I think there are teams even more desperate for receiver help than the Eagles out there. Can’t you just see the Cowboys going after Gordon? And then him ultimately not working out there just like a number of other troubled players they’ve take chances on? You decideVote in the poll below.
    • Pro Football Focus Ranks The Texans’ Receiving Corps 16th In NFL wYeah , let’s keep on ranking things. According to PFF, Houston Texans ranked 16th. This is what they had to say:I get what they are saying. I feel them. But did you know Fuller V weighs 185 pounds now? His durability isn’t even a question anymore. Also, the quarterback thing isn’t Fuller’s fault. Tom Savage has a smooth brain, slow feet, and can’t see past his first read. Evey play Savage played last year was geometric; he couldn’t see beyond Hopkins’ route. With Watson, Fuller V, and Hopkins all being 100% healthy with zero possibility of getting injured or anything bad happening this year, Houston ranks too low on this list. If you want some more, if you want to expand your horizons, click here to read the entire article.Spoiler:The Vikings finished first in PFF’s rankings.Projecting Each Texan’s Targets for 2018 The Texans finally have an arsenal of weapons among the most versatile and lethal in the league. From speedsters like Will Fuller V and Keke Coutee to red zone targets like Stephen Anderson and Bruce Ellington to potentially the best pass catcher in the league in DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans can really spread the field in 2018. In the six full games that featured Deshaun Watson under center, the Texans averaged 30.2 pass attempts per game. Watson will become the centerpiece of head coach Bill O’Brien’s offense, so giving him as many opportunities as possible to create for this offense is well within the team’s game plan. For the sake of this article, we will cap Deshaun Watson’s attempts per game at a round 32 each week. This small increase from last year’s average stems from a lack of confidence in the run game to move the ball effectively. Let’s see how Watson will distribute his passes this season.Editor’s note: Total targets assumes each player will play in all 16 games.DeAndre Hopkins Projected Targets: 155.2 (9.7 per game)Nuk averaged exactly 10 targets per game when Watson was the starting QB last season. That number does include an outlier of four targets, created when the Browns in Week 6 relentlessly double-teamed Hopkins to force Watson to look elsewhere. The second half of the 2017 season saw Hopkins’ targets increase DeAndre Hopkins Jersey , but that may be due to less pass catching options being available. Hopkins finished the 2017 season with 176 targets and led the team in all pass catching categories by a significant margin. He will still be the leading receiver on the team this year, but more mouths to feed may mean a tad fewer targets.Will Fuller Projected Targets: 100.8 (6.3 per game)100 targets strikes you as an impressive number, but when stretched out over 16 games, it’s not really that shocking. Fuller has yet to play an entire season in the NFL, missing six games with collarbone and rib injuries last year. That said, his ridiculous output of 7 TDs in four games gave us a glimpse of the potential Fuller has as a deep threat with Watson as his quarterback. According to Football Outsiders, Fuller’s DVOA (“Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average,” a great way to evaluate a receiver’s value) was 12th in the NFL last year. Fuller is at his best when he is not the focus of a defense’s attention. His speed could be the biggest weapon on the Texans offense this next season, and managing Fuller’s targets is a vital part of keeping him both healthy and deadly.Bruce Ellington Projected Targets: 60.8 (3.8 per game)In a season that was mostly doom and gloom, Ellington’s resurgence in the slot was a great extension of Houston’s offense. He brought a different skill set and allowed Bill O’Brien to get creative. Ellington will have a ton of competition for targets this year as Keke Coutee, Braxton Miller, and TEs Stephen Anderson and Jordan Akins will battle for the third pass catching option. Last year, Ellington turned into Deshaun Watson’s favorite hot route option, catching most of his balls over the middle when Watson began to improvise. Ellington had 57 targets over eleven games last year, which equates to a little over five targets per game. The diminishing amount of targets in 2018 will be a result of a slower start to the season as Ellington recovers from injury and deals with more competition to get on the field.Keke Coutee Projected Targets: 52.8 (3.3 per game)Hype and praise by the media does not correlate to immediate production. Coutee is going to have to get used to not being the primary target on the field, so it will be interesting to see how quickly he can climb up the depth chart in Houston. Additionally Authentic Kevin Johnson Jersey , Coutee may get more touches and opportunities than just catching balls as a wideout; from punt returns to end-around runs, Coutee’s big-play ability is going to be a spark on this offense. The Texans have been searching for that one player who puts opposing offenses in a tizzy because he can appear anywhere on the field. Three targets per game is not a lot, but Coutee should have a high catch rate because of solid hands and advantageous matchups he will create.Lamar Miller Projected Targets: 38.4 (2.4 per game)I like the idea of Lamar Miller more than the running back he is. A zone scheme, patient player who can catch the ball out of the backfield is a solid definition of a 21st century running back. However, Miller has never been able to utilize his talents in this offense. Maybe it was simply a bad fit after losing Arian Foster, but the Texans really have no better option to run the ball than Miller. As a receiver, Miller can get good looks from screen plays and quick catches out of the backfield. He is only 27 years old and definitely has some good years left, but his production is predicated on Bill O’Brien finally using him correctly. Stephen Anderson Projected Targets: 36.8 (2.3 per game)Entering his third season, Anderson must show some major progress if he wants to fight off the two tight ends the Texans drafted in April. Anderson is an average mid-field option and needs to gain better route running abilities to get on the field more. He plays mostly in the slot as a stand-up tight end; his best routes are a curl and 10 yard out-route. I would love to see him learn to box out smaller nickel corners in the red zone and on third down. He had a great game against the Titans being Tom Savage’s first option when under pressure. It would help Watson out tremendously to have a reliable option on roll out plays for short to mid-level options; that could be Anderson’s niche.Ryan Griffin Projected Targets: 32 (2.0 per game)Say what you want about the NFL becoming soft, but concussions suck, man. Not much is worse than getting hit so hard you feel like the Liberty Bell. After ending the season on IR and watching the Texans select two guys who play his position in the draft, Griffin may be on the chopping block more than we realize. As end-line blocking goes, Griffin is historically average and finds most of his value down field as a pass catcher. When he is available, he is one of the more consistent options the Texans have. But reliable hands may not be enough to keep Griffin on the field anymore as the Texans have stocked up on pass catchers. 32 targets in 2018 feels right for Griffin as the Texans start to change their offense and spread the field.Braxton Miller Projected Targets: 17.6 (1.1 per game)I do not want Braxton to become the player who is stashed on some team’s roster for his entire career and never realizes his potential. He’s a real talent on this roster - a guy who utterly dominated the college football ranks for a period. The transition to WR has definitely not gone as smoothly as hoped. Whether he is in BOB’s dog house or not is unknown, but a player like Miller deserves more than this projection. This is where I had to make the biggest adjustments on targets due to overallocating targets early on in the process of this article. If Miller becomes the Swiss Amy knife of the Texans’ offense and completely terrorizes opposing defenses, I will be happy. He will most likely do this if BOB is willing to work with Braxton to give him the creative opportunities he needs to make plays. D’Onta Foreman Projected Targets: 11.2 (0.7 per game)Tearing an Achilles has to be one of the more painful ways athletes get injured. Foreman’s road to recovery will hopefully end right as the regular season starts. As a Longhorn myself Youth Lamar Miller Jersey , nothing would make me happier than to see Foreman return to form. Before he got hurt, Foreman demonstrated a knack for catching the ball that was not really emphasized at Texas. If he gets healthy, he could push Miller for starting reps, and if this happens, his targets will surely go up. This is a conservative number of targets as I am wary that he will be fully healthy come the regular season.Jordan Akins Projected Targets: 6.4 (0.4 per game)This feels low for a third round pick. As you can tell, there are a lot of mouths to feed, and I just do not see Akins being more than a red zone threat in his first year in the NFL. A third-string TE who has to learn to block must create opportunities for himself to get on the field and be effective when given those chances. Akins’ two touchdowns in the red zone in college this past year were completely wide open, so we will still need to see if he can catch with a defender draped on him. A 6’3” pass catching threat is exactly what the Texans need, so hopefully Akins can fill the role designed for him.There are only so many passes to go around, and it turned out to be a tough task to divvy up targets to all the options at the Texans’ disposal. Realistically, there could be some targets for players like Tyler Ervin, Sammie Coates and Jordan Thomas that were not included in this article purely for their limited role in this offense. Also, because I try to be transparent when I am wrong, I will write an article at the end of the season to see how close (or far off) I was on these predictions.Did I snub any players who deserve more targets? Will Nuk get more than ten targets a game? Add your thoughts in the comment section.
    • Steelers vs. Buccaneers Youth Ramon Foster Jersey , Week 3: Knee Jerk Reactions from the Steelers 30-27 win over the Bucs As Week Two’s bizarre showcase wasn’t too easy, and made those in Steelers Nation queasy, I couldn’t help, once again, to be feeling cautiously optimistic leading up to what I presumed to be the necessary bounce back against Tampa Bay. At this point, I decided to wait until gametime to react and open the window to all of you. So if you want to know how my emotions fluctuated throughout the evening, keep on reading.Nonetheless, a simple reminder, a knee jerk reaction is an immediate and unthinking, emotional reaction. It’s basically shooting first and apologizing later. I can safely say that’s a true definition of your’s truly and a good lot of Steeler Nation. Here’s my real-time reactions during the Steelers first time in Tampa in eight years.1st QuarterWhat’s the benefit of having a quick KR like Switzer if the Steelers are going to always get called for a hold on the return?No disrespect intended, but I’m not too sure about Jordan Dangerfield anymore.I heard that the Steelers were going to water down the defense. They obviously watered down the offense on that first series too.Jordan Berry will not be punting for the Steelers next weekend.Mike Evans (not the original Lionel Jefferson) was wide open on that drop.Thats why I love Joe Haden. Nice breakup.Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY SportsUggh. Is this Road Ben or Bad Elbow Ben?The right side of the D-line just got dominated on the Barber run.Here we go again. Tight Ends kill the Steelers. It could be another long night.Conner needs to get going.When Vance McDonald is healthy. Wow!That stiff arm was Gronk-like.Chris Boswell has no more excuses. Does he suddenly have the kicking version of Steve Blass disease.I’m not so sure about how blatant the Bostic hit was.Tony Romo is awesome in the booth. Jason Witten is no Romo.T.J. Watt looked awful on that attempted tackle.It’s falling apart.Second penalty on McCullers. Good Gravy!Bostic. Nice coverage. They have no pass rush. It’s killing them.I stand corrected. Nice job, Chick.Nice pass play by both Ben and JuJu.Ben’s acting lessons are paying off.Quarter 2Big Al can’t hold there. Crap.Ben and Vance have good chemistry.Wow. The hardest hit of the night is the wall on Isaiah Johnson. Hope he’s okay.Artie Burns with a solid tackle.I hate the defensive posing on turnovers.That was all AB. Fantastic.Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsNo denying that face mask penalty.Mike Evans is really, really good.Seven penalties already. Lack of discipline will kill them.Hes not a Raven anymore , but I still don’t like the Ginga Ninja.Grounding anyone? Someone must have been in the area.I’m really liking Bostic. Good awareness by Hilton as well.I’ll take it, but I’m not a big fan of that JJP roughing penalty on Ben.Glad to see stony Dungy honored. In my mind he has two SB rings as a coach. But that’s just me.Seriously. I’m roughing the passer in my living room.Awesome. Edmunds desperately needed that pick.Those O-line reserves are going to get Ben murdered.That’s why you keep DHB.Yesssssss! Bud needed that play badly. Great job adjusting from the rush to the coverage.Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY SportsMore like Fitzmanic or Fitztragic.Fitzpatrick is even more entertaining than Peyton Manning on the audible.Evans is hard to cover. Wow!Was that more of a drop or Haden? I think a drop.Tony Toe Tap is one of the best sideline receiver ever.JuJu with the stiffy as well.Great to see Switzer get in. Hated the camera angle. Missed it.Quarter 3That’s not a touchdown. Hilton touched him.Wow. Evidence and still a reversal. Doesn’t happen often.Can’t ever give up a 3rd and 18.Bud is having a night.Holding a team to three twice in 2018. Who are these guys.Too bad. AB was wide open.Washington looks to be earning Ben’s trust.Seriously. What is wrong with Boz? He can’t become a liability.Quarter 4No excuses for Sensabaugh. The rookie schooled the veteran in that score.Penn State’s Godwin is a player.This team still needs a shutdown corner.They are going to blow this game.They got lucky on the Desean Jackson return. Really lucky.Did they really just let Fitz run for 17 yards?I’m losing faith in Artie Burns. But Mike Evans is incredible.I’m afraid that Fitzmagic is real.Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty ImagesDon’t know how they pulled that off.Why can’t things ever be nice and easy? as I replay the game more and more in my head, my perceptions and maybe my prescriptions will alter. But for now, you just got a glimpse of the first thoughts that popped in my mind while I was watching this game. Feel free to get your commentus maximus on in the section below.In the NFL, times may have changed but it’s still the same game In the comment section of a recent piece I wrote, an argument broke out. Weird, huh? The debate was over whether the Patriots, at their best, could beat the Steelers from the glory years. I don’t know the answer to that question, but what interested me was the difficulty of trying to envision such an encounter. Various points were made about the way the game has changed, which rule book we’d use and how that would impact the outcome. Others pointed out the physical differences in the players from differing eras. Players are bigger, faster and stronger than they were back in the day. Don’t forget that Jack Lambert, in his rookie year, weighed less as our middle linebacker than Chris Collinsworth weighed his rookie year as a wide receiver.Then our illustrious editor posted an account of Big Ben’s learning curve on the RPO and its part in the evolution of the game. And of course David DeCastro Jersey , we’ve seen countless takes on the impact on the new rules designed to better protect the heads of players. That’s a great deal of change in not such a long time. But the good news is — the game is still the game. I consider myself a purist and a traditionalist. Like a charter member of the Flat-earth Society, I’m not only deeply irked by the mere existence of designated hitters in baseball, but I pull out what’s left of my hair over inter-league games. At the end of the day, even with sub-packages and specialists for this and for that, the object of the game of football is still to get the ball to pay-dirt and to keep the enemy from doing the same. It’s still two armies seeking to impose their will on each other. And it’s still the best spectator sport in the world.Also, we shouldn’t forget that spectating has evolved. The Steelers’ first playoff victory, capped off by the Immaculate Reception, wasn’t even telecast live in the Pittsburgh market because the game hadn’t sold out. That, I believe, was the last time this ever happened. Living 60 miles from former Three Rivers Stadium, I watched the games on a 19-inch console equipped with rabbit ears — no NFL Ticket, no Gamepass, no smartphones, and no 60-inch Authentic Javon Hargrave Jersey , high-def televisions. There were no 24-hour sports channels, let alone an NFL network. There were no VCRs or DVRs to time-shift our experience of the game. You watched it when it aired or not at all. There was also no Internet, and you waited until Monday morning to read any analysis in the newspaper, devouring Vito Stellino, Bob Musick and John Steigerwald.I don’t miss the paucity of information we had back then, but I’m grateful that, at its core, it’s still the same game, and I get to see more of it, more often and more clearly. I’m grateful that the “Stillers” are still the “Stillers,” still under the Rooney family’s control and still winning. I don’t know who would win a battle between the Steelers of yore and the Patriots of today. My hope is that the Steelers of today will do well enough to face them in the post-season, and win — plus finishing the season with a victory in an inter-league game.
    • With perhaps the most frustrating road trip of their season in the rearview mirror Authentic Billy Price Jersey , the Minnesota Twins return home Thursday looking to get back on track in the opener of a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at Target Field. Minnesota went 1-8 on their I-94 excursion that began by dropping two of three to the Chicago White Sox and ended with sweeps by the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers. As a result, the Twins now sit 13 games under .500 and 12 games behind American League Central-leading Cleveland, holding down third place in the division. “I think we’re all frustrated,” manager Paul Molitor said after the Brewers hit three solo home runs in a 3-2 victory over the Twins at Miller Park on Wednesday. “You win one game and you’re on the road for 10 days, playing good teams. “We’re creating some of our own problems. At the same time, we’re not catching a lot of breaks. We’ll get home, looking forward to that. Have a nice homestand before the break. We’ll try to get these guys ready for a series with Baltimore tomorrow.” The Twins will turn to Aaron Slegers (0-0, 3.38 ERA) for his first start of the season in the hopes of turning things around. He has made just one other major league appearance this season, allowing two runs over 5 1/3 innings of relief May 30 at Kansas City. He has a 5.66 ERA in five career outings, including three starts, in the big leagues overall. Slegers has never faced Baltimore. Like the Twins, the Orioles come into the series looking to snap out of a slump. They have lost nine of their last 10 games Isaiah Oliver Color Rush Jersey , including two in a row to Philadelphia this week. Manager Buck Showalter still has confidence his team can turn things around. “There are some really good people in that locker room and I’d really like to see them get a return, but you can’t will it. You can’t just hope it,” said Showalter. “It’s got to be one pitch at a time. You can’t look at the big picture.” Andrew Cashner (2-8, 4.48) gets the start for Baltimore on Thursday, and he is looking for his first victory since May 21. He has a 3.21 ERA over his last five outings, four of which were quality starts. Keeping the ball in the park has been a big reason for that recent run of success. Cashner had allowed 11 home runs through his first nine starts but only three over his last seven — and none his last time out when he held the Los Angeles Angels to a run on four hits and a pair of walks while striking out four over six innings of work. “That’s what I try to do every time I take the mound, just keep the team in the game and grind it out, no matter if it’s pretty or ugly,” Cashner told the Baltimore Sun. “Just try to get through the seventh. Maybe next time I’ll get through the seventh. I thought I got stronger as I went along. The breaking stuff was better, the offspeed was better. Something to build on as we go and keep moving forward.” Cashner will be making his first career start at Target Field but is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in two previous starts against the Twins, who tagged him for five runs (four earned) over five innings on March 31 in Baltimore.
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