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  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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    It didn’t seem to matter much who was pitching against DJ LeMahieu. After striking out in his first at-bat Customized Washington Redskins Jerseys , the Rockies leadoff hitter was as locked in as he’s been all season. Especially in the ninth inning when Colorado trailed. LeMahieu hit a two-run homer in the ninth and set a career best with five RBIs as the Rockies rallied past the San Francisco Giants 9-8 on Thursday to snap a four-game losing streak. ”It was a good one to win,” LeMahieu said. ”I feel like we’ve been on the other end of that for the last couple of weeks so it was good to win that one late.” Nolan Arenado hit his 19th home run, tying him for the National League lead with Washington’s Bryce Harper. Trevor Story added three hits for Colorado, which had lost four straight at San Francisco. The Rockies blew leads of 5-2 and 7-5 and were down 8-7 before scoring twice off closer Sam Dyson (2-2) to avoid a series sweep. Chris Iannetta hit a leadoff single in the ninth and was replaced by pinch-runner Pat Valaika. After pinch-hitter Tom Murphy popped out, LeMahieu sent a full-count pitch from Dyson into the left-field stands. Two nights earlier, Dyson got LeMahieu to ground into a game-ending double play with the tying run on base. ”It was roughly where we wanted,” Dyson said. ”I figured we’d go (inside) like we did two nights ago. Just didn’t get it far enough in there.” It was a big hit for a ballclub that had been 0-37 when trailing going into the ninth. ”That was a big swing when the momentum shifted back to them in a big way,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. ”It takes a special moment and a special swing to get it back on our side and DJ put a great swing on that ball. It was awesome.” LeMahieu had an RBI single as part of Colorado’s four-run fourth. His two-run single off Ty Blach in the seventh gave the Rockies a 7-5 lead. Each of LeMahieu’s hits came off different pitchers. ”He knows the opposition, he knows pitchers,” Black said. ”He’s as prepared as any player I’ve been around.” Adam Ottavino (4-1) gave up two runs but retired three batters to win. Wade Davis pitched the ninth for his 22nd save. All three games in the series were decided by one run. Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer Rams Authentic Jerseys , Joe Panik had two hits and two RBIs while Pablo Sandoval and Andrew McCutchen also had two hits for San Francisco. The Giants trailed most of the afternoon but took an 8-7 lead in the eighth when Alen Hanson doubled in two runs. ”That was a hard fought game,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. ”Tough one when you have a lead in the ninth and we couldn’t hold on to it. Sam was just a little bit off.” Arenado homered off starter Chris Stratton in the first, his 10th this season in the opening frame. It was also Arenado’s 10th career home run at AT&T Park, tying former Rockies infielder Troy Tulowitzki for second-most among visiting players. Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt has 11. Neither starter factored in the decision and had nearly identical lines. Stratton allowed five runs on eight hits in four innings. Colorado’s Jon Gray also gave up five runs in four innings but yielded seven hits with seven strikeouts. BACK TO BACK Giants catcher Nick Hundley threw out a pair of runners trying to steal second base in consecutive at-bats in the eighth. Story hit a leadoff single but was thrown out. Gerardo Parra then reached on an error but was quickly erased when he tried to take second GOLDEN COMPANY Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, a noted Dodgers fan, attended the game and sat next to the Giants dugout, at one point reaching over to shake hands with Bochy. TRAINER’S ROOM Giants: C Buster Posey was held out of the starting lineup due to the pitching matchup but had a pinch-hit single in the eighth. UP NEXT Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (4-3, 4.62 ERA) faces the Dodgers in the opener of a three-game series in Los Angeles on Friday. Anderson is unbeaten in nine road starts this season. Giants: LHP Andrew Suarez (2-4, 4.43) takes the hill against the Diamondbacks on Friday.
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    Luis Severino is making a strong case to start the All-Star Game for the American League. Severino became the majors’ first 12-game winner Kenny Clark Jersey , Aaron Hicks and Didi Gregorius homered and the New York Yankees beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-0 Tuesday night. Severino (12-2) struck out nine in seven dominant innings, lowering his ERA to 2.10. The ace has allowed three runs or less in 16 of 17 starts. ”It would mean a lot,” Severino said about taking the mound in the Midsummer Classic on July 17. ”But I’m thinking about five more days and what hitters I’ll be facing.” Jake Arrieta (5-6) had another rough outing for Philadelphia, which had won four consecutive series before losing two straight to the Yankees. Arrieta gave up six runs – three earned – and nine hits in five innings. Another sellout crowd in Philly made it sound like a home game for the Bronx Bombers, cheering loudly for the team with the best record in the majors. Meanwhile, Phillies fans tried to drown them out by chanting ”E-A-G-L-E-S.” Hicks hit Arrieta’s third pitch of the game out to straightaway center for his 11th homer. Arrieta was 0-4 with a 6.66 ERA in five starts in June after posting a 0.90 ERA in five starts last month. An error by second baseman Cesar Hernandez led to three unearned runs in the third. Arrieta has allowed 14 unearned runs this season and has expressed frustration with the team’s defense. The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner is earning $30 million this season as part of a $75 million, three-year contract he signed as a free agent in March. With two runners on, Gregorius hit a grounder to Hernandez that should have been an inning-ending double play. But Hernandez flipped wide to shortstop Scott Kingery and all three runners were safe. Arrieta struck out Giancarlo Stanton for the second out. But Gleyber Torres hit a two-run single past third baseman Maikel Franco’s diving attempt. Greg Bird followed with a bloop single to left to make it 4-0. ”It’s always difficult when you get a grounder and we don’t make the play,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. ”We win and lose as a team.” Austin Romine led off the fourth with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Hicks’ sacrifice fly. Gregorius drove his 15th homer out to right-center in the fifth. Severino has come a long way in less than two seasons. He was 0-8 with an 8.50 ERA in 11 starts in 2016. But the 24-year-old righty finished third in AL Cy Young voting last year and went to the All-Star Game. Now he’s one of the elite pitchers in baseball. ”Every time I get the ball, I want to win,” he said. Severino’s fastball was consistently in the upper 90s against the overmatched Phillies. ”The life on his fastball seemed really special,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. Adam Warren and Chasen Shreve each tossed one inning to finish off the six-hitter for the Yankees (52-25). CONSISTENCY Severino has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 14 consecutive starts, the longest such streak by a Yankees starter since 2014, when Masahiro Tanaka did it in 16 straight. His 12 wins are the most by a Yankees pitcher before the All-Star break since Tanaka had 12 in 2014. STREAKING Kingery has a career-best seven-game hitting streak. GLOVE WORK Hicks made a superb catch to rob Rhys Hoskins of extra bases in the eighth, leaping a few feet in front of the wall to grab a deep drive to left-center. TRAINER’S ROOM Yankees: Tanaka, on the 10-day disabled list since June 9 with strained left and right hamstrings, threw his second bullpen session. Boone isn’t sure what the next step will be in Tanaka’s rehab. Phillies: RHP Pat Neshek allowed one run and two hits in one inning in a rehab appearance at Double-A Reading. Neshek, an All-Star last year, hasn’t pitched this season because of shoulder strain. UP NEXT RHP Luis Cessa (0-0, 3.00 ERA) will make his first start for the Yankees since last August 14 on Wednesday night. RHP Zach Eflin (5-2, 3.42 ERA) takes the mound for Philadelphia in the series finale. —
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    Just stepping into the batter’s box to face good friend and former teammate Max Scherzer was a special occasion for Rick Porcello. A career American League pitcher with 35 plate appearances on his resume going up against a three-time Cy Young Award-winner had mismatch written all over it. Instead Authentic Sylvester Williams Jersey , Porcello hit a three-run double off Scherzer that set the stage for the Boston Red Sox beating the Washington Nationals 4-3 in the opener of their three-game interleague series Monday night. ”I got lucky,” Porcello said. ”He got to the top of his windup and I told myself, `Start swinging.’ Then I hit it.” Porcello’s first major league extra-base hit came in the second inning on an 0-2 pitch after the Nationals intentionally walked Jackie Bradley Jr. to pitch to him. His .156 batting average and limited hitting experience made it appear to be the right calculation, but Porcello drove Scherzer’s 96 mph fastball over the head of Juan Soto in left center for his first RBIs since 2009. ”You don’t hit for an entire year,” said Porcello, who came in with five hits and two RBIs in his career. ”You don’t even know what it’s going to look like once you step in there. I was thinking swing the bat and be competitive up there. You just never know what’s going to happen because you don’t do it very often.” Scherzer and Porcello were teammates for five seasons with the Detroit Tigers and are still close. Because of that, Scherzer wasn’t surprised by Porcello’s hitting stroke. ”I know he can hit,” Scherzer said. ”Give him a couple sliders to keep him off balance and then was trying to get a fastball up and away and it ran back middle-in. Anybody can hit middle-in. He can do that. I’ve seen him do it.” On the mound, Porcello (10-3) struck out five and limited the damage to solo home runs by Anthony Rendon and Daniel Murphy. Scherzer (10-5) struck out nine and kept the Red Sox off the board except for Porcello’s bases-clearing double and became the 11th pitcher to reach 1,000 strikeouts with two different teams. When Scherzer exited the game after 108 pitches Patrick Maroon Jersey , Mookie Betts provided the Red Sox with their insurance run with a solo shot off Brandon Kintzler in the seventh, his 21st home run of the season. Bryce Harper hit his 21st in the eighth, but Boston’s bullpen held on to hand the Nationals their 16th loss in 24 one-run games. ”Go out there and try to win ballgames and they all feel the same to me,” Harper said as Washington fell to 42-41, seven games back of NL East-leading Atlanta. ”I mean we lose the game, you’re a loser. Win the game, you’re a winner.” Craig Kimbrel got into some trouble but picked up four outs for his 25th save in 27 chances. FIRST-BASE HARPER? Harper is doing just fine in center field but on Monday fielded some grounders at first base. It’s just experimental for now but could help the Nationals out down the line. ”I don’t ever know if he’ll ever start a game there, but I believe that if we’re in a pinch and we’ve got to make some kind of decisions in-game, he probably could play there,” manager Davey Martinez said. PUERTO RICO PRIDE Martinez and Red Sox manager Alex Cora were never on the same team but knew each other well from their playing days. They exchanged lineup cards as two managers of Puerto Rican descent in the series opener Matt Kalil Jersey , a special moment and occasion for them and their country. ”It’s good for Puerto Rico,” Martinez said. ”We feel blessed and we’re happy we got the opportunity to do what we do.” TRAINER’S ROOM Red Sox: RHP Steven Wright (left knee inflammation) received a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection, a day after throwing a short bullpen session. Cora said Wright could return before the All-Star break. . 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee inflammation) will remain in New York all week. . Cora said RHP Tyler Thornburg (shoulder surgery) will most likely be activated from the disabled list during this series. Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman (right oblique strain) took part in a simulated game as he prepares to try to play in a game for the first time since May. … Martinez said C Matt Wieters (left hamstring strain) will go on a minor-league rehab assignment Tuesday at Double-A Harrisburg after reporting significant progress in the simulated game and could be activated as soon as Wednesday. UP NEXT Boston LHP Brian Johnson (1-2, 4.28 ERA), who is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA in three career interleague appearances, faces Washington for the first time. RHP Tanner Roark (3-9, 4.10 ERA) pitches for the Nationals in his first career start against the Red Sox. —
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    KANSAS CITY Jared Spurgeon Jersey , Mo. — It wasn’t Friday the 13th, but it was a nightmare nonetheless for Danny Duffy. On May 13, the Kansas City Royals 29-year-old left-hander took the mound at Progressive Field in Cleveland. After 87 pitches in 3 1/3 innings, Duffy was finished. “What do I remember from the last one?” Duffy said. “I try to forget it. It was probably the worst start I’ve had in a long timfe.” To say it was bad would be an understatement. Duffy gave up nine runs, eight hits and five walks and hit a batter. He yielded a three-run homer to Jose Ramirez in the second inning. Manager Ned Yost mercifully replaced him in the third when Yan Gomes belted Duffy’s final pitch over the center-field fence with two runners on base. Duffy gets a chance for a reprieve on Tuesday when he faces the Indians in the second game of the three-game series. “I’m looking forward to getting out there,” he said. “It’s another challenge and I’m up for it. I’m going to do everything I can to execute every pitch and stay within my strengths.” Duffy has not fared well against the Indians in his career. He is 2-8 with a 5.06 ERA, surrendering 39 earned runs in 69 1/3 inning in 17 career outings, 13 of them starts. This season, he is 4-7 with a 4.94 ERA in 17 starts, allowing 95 hits, walking 46 and hitting two batters in 94 2/3 innings. Opponents are batting .259 against Duffy. That breaks down to .264 by right-handed batters and .233 by left-handed batters. Lefties have hit .188 against Duffy since 2016. Duffy has pitched better recently. He began the year 1-6 with a 6.88 ERA in his first 10 starts, giving up 39 earned runs in 51 innings. He is 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA in his past seven starts, allowing 13 earned runs across 43 2/3 innings. In his last start, Duffy picked up a 5-4 decision over the Milwaukee Brewers on the road. He permitted one run, five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in six innings. He stranded two runners in the first and third inning. Jesus Aguilar’s home run in the sixth was the only run Duffy allowed. Duffy will be looking for his first Kauffman Stadium victory this season. He is 0-3 with a 6.32 ERA in six home starts. His last home victory was Aug. 22, 2017. The Indians, who won the series opener 9-3 with Francisco Lindor driving in a career-high seven runs, will counter with rookie right-hander Shane Bieber, who is 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in his first four career starts. “I just want to go out there and continue what I’ve been doing so far,” Bieber said. “That’s just throwing three or four pitches for strikes and getting ahead, and trying to put guys away when I can. “Really, it’s just a matter of trusting (catchers) Yan (Gomes) or Berto (Roberto Perez). They always know exactly what they’re doing, in case I don’t. They make up for my lack of experience.” Bieber has plus breaking pitches. “Right now, I’m relying on the slider and curveball,” he said. “I’ll use the fastball if they’re sitting on those two. I feel comfortable throwing those three especially. My change-up is a work in progress. All my pitches are a work in progress, obviously, but that one especially. “Keeping them off balance with all three or four pitches is the best thing. If I can do that, things will be a little bit easier. That’s the goal for every starting pitcher.”
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    Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash has had to defend his strategy using relievers as starters time and time again. At least this time Charles Clay Jersey , the defense came after the formula led his team to a victory. Wilmer Font held the high-scoring Yankees in check and the Rays stopped New York 3-1 Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep. ”We’re doing everything we can (and) what we think is right to win games,” Cash said. ”When we win, yeah, we like it. When we lose, it’s grueling.” In his third start of the season, Font turned in his best performance of the year in any role, allowing just one run in 4 2-3 innings with five strikeouts. The right-hander, who also has eight relief appearances, matched a career-high with 74 pitches. Tampa Bay, which has been hurt by injuries to its rotation, employed a reliever to open for the 15th time in 29 games. Entering the game, relievers working as starters had allowed 13 earned runs in 18 innings. ”Today he gave us a huge boost,” Cash said of the 28-year old right-hander. ”He probably got a little deeper in the game than what we even anticipated.” Matt Duffy drove in two runs with a second-inning single for his first multi-RBI game in over a month. The infielder, who missed 2017 while undergoing two Achilles surgeries, is hitting .352 (25 for 71) with seven RBI over his last 18 contests. ”I typically don’t see CC too well,” Duffy said. ”That wasn’t the greatest pitch to hit, but when you’re going well, those seem to fall.” Carlos Gomez had an RBI double as Tampa Bay scored all three runs in the second against CC Sabathia (4-2). The left-hander pitched into the eighth inning for the first time this season and struck out 10 for just the second time since the start of 2014. ”I just tried to be really aggressive because they were aggressive,” Sabathia said. Tampa Bay defeated New York for the first time this season. The Yankees opened the season with five straight wins, outscoring the Rays 31-10 over the games, and was trying for a four-game sweep. The Rays are 5-18 in their last 23 games at Yankee Stadium. Chaz Roe (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory. Sergio Romo, who has also drawn five starts this season, closed for his third save in six chances. Rookie Willy Adames singled to lead off the Rays second. Adeiny Hechavarria, who missed nearly a month with a strained hamstring, singled for the first of his three hits. Gomez doubled and Duffy delivered a two-out single. Hechavarria also robbed rookie sensation Gleyber Torres of a base hit with dive and throw from shortstop in the seventh inning. New York matched its lowest run total at home this season. Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius worked two-out walks against Jose Alvarado in the fifth, but the hard-throwing lefty struck out Giancarlo Stanton on four pitches. In the eighth, Diego Castillo struck out Gary Sanchez on three pitches to strand another runner. Aaron Hicks homered off Font in the fifth – it was actually the second homer of the day. Hours earlier, the Yankees held their 72nd Old-Timers’ Day and Nick Swisher, making his debut with the former players, hit a long drive to right field. Hall of Famers Whitey Ford and Reggie Jackson were joined by the likes of Don Larsen, Willie Randolph, Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi. Current New York manager Aaron Boone also took part for the first time. UP NEXT Rays: Tampa Bay will start a reliever for the third consecutive day when RHP Ryne Stanek (1-1, 2.55 ERA) draws the start as the Rays open a three-game series at Houston. He’ll be opposed by RHP Gerrit Cole (8-1, 2.40 ERA). Yankees: New York heads to Washington for a makeshift doubleheader Monday. The teams will resume a suspended game from May 15 before a traditional nine-inning game follows. With heavy rain falling, play was halted after 5 1-2 innings with the teams tied at 3. The teams were set to resume play, and their interleague series, one day later, but rain continued to fall and both events were postponed. Boone will turn to his bullpen to begin the day and RHP Sonny Gray (4-4, 4.96 ERA) takes the mound in game two. TRAINER’S ROOM Yankees: OF Brett Gardner (knee) was held out of the lineup with a little soreness.
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    Mike Foltynewicz loves trying to one-up his fellow hurlers in the Atlanta Braves red-hot pitching rotation. He kept even with cohorts by tossing five shutout innings and Freddie Freeman homered as the Atlanta Braves held off the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 on Sunday. ”It’s like a friendly competition with a fun group of guys Mark Walton Jersey ,” Foltynewicz said. ”It’s a good vibe.” The Braves outscored St. Louis 22-10 in sweeping a three-game series in St. Louis for the first time since May 11-13, 2012. Tommy Pham homered for St. Louis, which has lost four in a row. The Cardinals scored five times in the seventh to rally from a 6-0 deficit. Foltynewicz matched Julio Teheran and Max Fried to post the Braves third successive scoreless appearance by a starter. Teheran tossed six scoreless innings a 5-1 win on Friday. Fried did not allow a run in 6 2-3 innings of an 11-4 victory on Saturday. ”They’ve been awesome,” said Atlanta infielder Charlie Culberson, who had two hits and drove in two runs on Sunday, ”It makes it easier for us (hitters). A little bit more relaxed for us going up there.” Foltynewicz (6-4) surrendered one hit – a fourth-inning single to Marcell Ozuna. He struck out nine and walked three in an 86-pitch outing. ”He never gave in, he kept grinding,” manager Brian Snitker said. Foltynewicz has allowed just two hits and one run over 10 innings in two outings since coming off the disabled list with tightness in his right tricepts on June 25. ”He was kind of wildly effective,” St. Louis infielder Kolten Wong said. ”When you’re throwing as hard as he was Authentic Blake McLaughlin Jersey , it makes it tough.” The Braves three starters allowed seven hits over 17 2-3 innings with 24 strikeouts in the series. ”We’ve been feeding off each other,” Foltynewicz said. ”We’re always pulling for each other, pushing each other, asking questions. We hang around together and you can see that we take it out to the mound. It’s been a really fun time.” A.J. Minter picked up his third save in as many tries by setting the side down in order in the ninth. He has not allowed a run in his last seven appearances. Freeman’s 16th homer of the season, a two-run drive, pushed the lead to 3-0 in sixth. The blow highlighted a five-run uprising that also included a run-scoring hit from Culberson. Pham hit a three-run homer off Peter Moylan in the seventh to bring the Cardinals to within 6-5. St. Louis starter John Gant (2-3) allowed four runs on four hits over 5 1-3 innings. ”I’ve definitely got to do better,” Gant said. ”Came out on the losing end, so anytime that happens, improvements need to be made.” Francisco Pena had a two-run single in the seventh for St. Louis Devin Funchess Jersey , which will play 17 of its next 20 games on the road. The Braves have been in first place or tied for first in 60 of the last 62 days. They kicked off their 10-game road trip in style. ”To come out and win the first three games, that’s really nice,” Culberson said. ”But this series is done. We took care of business. Time to move on.” Atlanta infielder Ozzie Albies extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a sixth-inning single. TRAINER’S ROOM Braves: C Tyler Flowers returned to the starting lineup after missing Saturday’s game. He suffered a muscle cramp in the sixth inning of Friday’s 5-1 win. Cardinals: RHP Luke Gregerson began a rehab stint with Triple-A Memphis on Sunday. He did not allow a hit over one inning. Gregerson was placed on the 10-day disabled list with shoulder impingement on May 16. UP NEXT Braves RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-2, 2.68) will face RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (2-0, 1.93) in the first of a three-game series against the Yankees in New York. Sanchez is 4-1 in six lifetime starts against the Yankees. Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (4-4, 3.22) takes on Arizona LHP Robbie Ray (3-0, 4.01) in the opener of a three-game series in Arizona that kicks off a nine-game road trip. Martinez is 2-0 in three starts at Chase Field.
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    Pitching coach Chris Bosio said Thursday he was fired by the Detroit Tigers for using the word ”monkey Authentic Josh Jackson Jersey ,” but insists he didn’t say it in a racial or demeaning context. Bosio told USA Today he used the word while talking about pitcher Daniel Stumpf, who is white. Bosio said Stumpf is nicknamed ”Spider Monkey” because of the faces he makes while lifting weights. Bosio said an African-American clubhouse attendant overheard the conversation. Bosio told USA Today that ”the kid thought we were talking about him. He got all upset. He assumed we were talking about him. I said, `No, no, no. We’re talking about Stumpf.”’ ”I swear on my mom and dad’s graves, there was nothing else to it,” he told the newspaper. General manager Al Avila said Wednesday that Bosio was fired for making insensitive comments to another team employee. Avila declined to offer additional details. ”I have to take seriously what the comments were Ryan Murray Jersey ,” Avila said. ”And, the action we took was appropriate.” Bosio told USA Today that he was ”crushed” about his firing. Bosio said he plans to hire an attorney to help determine whether to sue for wrongful termination. Bosio was in his first season as Detroit’s pitching coach after serving in the same role for six years with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs didn’t renew Bosio’s contract after last season and hired Jim Hickey to replace him. The 55-year-old Bosio was 94-93 over an 11-season major league career, mostly as a starter, with Milwaukee and Seattle. The Tigers promoted bullpen coach Rick Anderson to replace Bosio. Roving pitching instructor A.J. Sager will be the team’s bullpen coach until Triple-A Toledo pitching coach Jeff Pico takes his place next week. — Information from: USA Today,
  15. A look at what’s happening around the majors Saturday: SOX SEEING DEAD RED A couple of Boston’s top hitters could be in line for a big weekend in Kansas City. Heading into the series opener Friday night Womens Henrik Zetterberg Jersey , Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez and Mitch Moreland had gone a combined 15 for 27 (.556) with six home runs in three games against the Royals. The trio will have another opportunity to feast on Kansas City pitching on Saturday night when 22-year-old rookie Brad Keller takes the mound for the Royals. Keller has a 2.09 ERA in 56 innings this season and is making his seventh start. RAY’S REBOUND Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Robbie Ray looked sharp during his first start since missing two months with an oblique strain, throwing six scoreless innings in a win over Miami. Ray wasn’t nearly as effective in his last start when he allowed six runs in five innings against St. Louis. He is hoping to bounce back when he takes the mound against the San Diego Padres. CY SEVERINO? New York Yankees ace Luis Severino made the jump to Cy Young Award contender last season Luke Willson Jersey , finishing third in the American League voting after posting a 14-6 record and 2.98 ERA. The 24-year-old right-hander has been even better this season, leading the AL in wins (13) and ERA (1.98). Severino will try to add to his stellar resume and help New York keep pace with Boston when he takes the mound at Toronto. PRIMED PAXTON Seattle’s James Paxton has experienced plenty of success this season, like his no-hitter against Toronto on May 8. The left-hander had his best start since the no-hitter in his last outing Youth Rashaan Evans Jersey , striking out 11 while pitching eight innings of two-hit ball in a 1-0 win over Kansas City. Paxton will try to continue his breakout season when the Mariners hosts the Colorado Rockies. —
  16. Another strong effort from Anibal Sanchez has the first-place Atlanta Braves facing a sudden surplus of starting pitchers. Sanchez allowed only four hits in seven scoreless innings Nazem Kadri Jersey , Ender Inciarte homered and scored two runs and the Braves, helped by a strange replay ruling, beat the San Diego Padres 4-2 on Thursday night. The Braves (40-28) moved 12 games over .500 for the first time since ending the 2013 season on top of the NL East. They haven’t been back to the playoffs since 2013, but now they’re again leading the division. Sanchez has won two straight starts. With the emergence of rookie Mike Soroka and the expected return of Julio Teheran from the DL this weekend, Braves manager Brian Snitker could soon face difficult decisions in his rotation. ”We’ve got a good problem because we’ve got more starters than we can probably use right now,” Snitker said. ”That’s something that not a lot of teams can say. So it’s going to be some tough decisions going forward.” Sanchez (3-0) did not walk a batter as he earned his first win in six career starts against San Diego. The 34-year-old right-hander lowered his ERA to 1.93 in seven games, including six starts. He signed with Atlanta in spring training following his release from Minnesota. ”He’s been a man on a mission,” catcher Tyler Flowers said. Sanchez outpitched Tyson Ross (5-4), who allowed only three hits and three runs in six-plus innings. Ozzie Albies added a run-scoring double for Atlanta. Inciarte, who singled and scored in the third, had two hits. Atlanta led 3-0 before Eric Hosmer’s double off Dan Winkler in the eighth drove in Jose Pirela and Cory Spangenberg, cutting the lead to one run. Freddie Freeman doubled and scored on Adam Cimber’s throwing error on Flowers’ grounder in the bottom of the eighth to cap the scoring. Arodys Vizcaino pitched the ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances. The Padres were upset a video review affirmed the ruling from home plate umpire Mark Ripperger that Flowers was hit by a pitch from Sanchez in the seventh. The review lasted 2 minutes, 39 seconds. Flowers said he told Ripperger he didn’t think he was hit by the pitch. ”The more I thought about it sitting there Dallas Goedert Color Rush Jersey , and then seeing the replay, I know it hit something,” Flowers said. ”It might have been me. I don’t know. I wear so many guards and stuff, it might have been one of those.” TV replays seemed to show the ball didn’t hit Flowers or his bat. San Diego manager Andy Green said the call changed the game because Flowers scored on Inciarte’s groundout against Robbie Erlin. ”In those moments as a manager I’m not even sure why you have replay,” Green said. ”I mean, it’s blatantly obvious it didn’t hit him. There’s no situation where that hit him and it changed the game. … Every single way you look at that one they blew it and that cost us.” Inciarte pulled a pitch from Ross over the first level of right-field seats and into the open doors of a restaurant in the fifth. It was Inciarte’s fifth homer and his first since May 15. Sanchez escaped sixth-inning trouble after the Padres had runners on first and third with one out, following a double by A.J. Ellis and an infield single by Pirela. Spangenberg and Hosmer ended the inning with infield popups. TRAINER’S ROOM Teheran (right thumb contusion) is on track to come off the DL and start on Sunday after throwing a bullpen session with no problems. Teheran has been out since June 5. … Braves OF Ronald Acuna Jr. (left knee sprain) hit before the game. He is expected to run the bases at a moderate pace on Friday and then give the knee a more strenuous test on Saturday. SLOW STARTERS The Padres fell to 5-18 in series openers this season, the worst mark in the National League. Despite those poor starts, San Diego has won five straight series. RARE WALK Ross went four innings without a walk before putting Albies on base with two outs in the fifth. It ended a stretch of 32 innings without a walk for San Diego pitchers, matching the longest streak in franchise history from July 28-31, 1971. UP NEXT Padres: LHP Clayton Richard will start Friday night’s second game of the series. He is 4-2 with a 3.04 ERA in his last seven starts. Braves: RHP Brandon McCarthy was announced as Friday night’s starter. —
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  18. HOUSTON — Yuli Gurriel delivered the walk-off hit that lifted the Houston Astros to victory on Thursday in their series opener with the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park. The clutch at-bat came as no surprise considering Gurriel leads the American League in batting with runners in scoring position. That George Springer and Marwin Gonzalez contributed to the ninth-inning rally was additionally good news for the Astros (58-31). Springer entered the series with a slash line of .100/.222/.157 since his last multi-hit game on June 10 and was 0-for-4 before muscling a game-tying single to center that scored Tony Kemp. Gonzalez , slashing .098/.193/.157 over his prior 15 games, emerged off the bench and delivered a pinch single that pushed Kemp to third. “If you’ve been around our team at all the last couple days to weeks, to have George Springer and Marwin Gonzalez be a part of the celebration having contributed the way they did, that’s all they want to do is contribute to something positive,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “Yuli should get as much praise as anybody to end the game, but really proud of George and Marwin to get in on the party.” Right-hander Lance McCullers (9-3 Ryan Johansen Jersey , 3.55 ERA) gets the start for the Astros on Friday. He is 1-1 with a 2.60 ERA over three career starts against the White Sox, including an outing on April 22 when he allowed one run on eight hits and one walk with three strikeouts over six innings in a 7-1 win. McCullers twirled seven scoreless innings at Tampa Bay in his previous start and went 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA over five starts last month. White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (4-5, 3.68) is scheduled to make his 18th start of the season and second against the Astros. He is 2-1 with a 2.63 ERA over his last four road starts. The White Sox are providing Lopez with just 3.95 runs of support, the 15th-lowest mark in the AL. In his lone career start against Houston, Lopez allowed one run over five innings but did not factor into the decision while working opposite of McCullers. With the non-waiver trade deadline looming at the end of this month and the rebuilding White Sox (30-57) out of contention, attention has shifted to the potential veterans who might be shipped elsewhere before the calendar turns. First baseman Jose Abreu and right fielder Avisail Garcia are popular names bandied about the rumor mill while veteran reliever Joakim Soria has been mentioned as a target for contenders seeking bullpen help. Soria suffered the loss in the series opener Womens Philip Rivers Jersey , allowing two runs on three hits and two walks while recording just one out in the ninth inning of a 4-3 loss. The Astros, interestingly, have been reported to potentially have interest in Soria. As for the White Sox, they’re ignoring the noise. “For us, it’s not something that’s been a topic of conversation,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “So we’re able to allow them to just continue to try to develop and try to improve and get better.” The Detroit Lions have signed tight end Luke Willson 49ers Mike McGlinchey Jersey , adding a potential starter in place of Eric Ebron, and bolstered their defensive line by adding Sylvester Williams. Detroit addressed needs on both sides of the ball with the moves Wednesday. Willson has 89 career catches for 1,129 yards with 11 touchdowns in 72 games, all with the Seahawks. He has 13 catches for 154 yards and one score in the playoffs, including two receptions when Seattle routed Denver in the Super Bowl four years ago. Seattle drafted the former Rice standout in the fifth round in 2013. Wilson is from LaSalle, Ontario Youth Jeremy Kerley Jersey , which is on the banks of the Detroit River. The Lions opened free agency by making a major move last week, cutting ties with Ebron instead of paying him $8.25 million this season. Detroit didn’t re-sign Haloti Ngata and Williams potentially fills the void. He started 11 games and was a reserve in four games last year for the Tennessee Titans and had 20 tackles. He previously played for four seasons for the Denver Broncos, who drafted him 28th overall in 2013 out of North Carolina. Williams was a key player for Denver’s Super Bowl-winning team two years ago. He has 114 career tackles, including six sacks, in 59 starts and 75 games overall. — Womens Dallas Cowboys Jerseys
  19. The Pittsburgh Penguins will start their bid for a Stanley Cup three-peat at home. Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel banked in goals off Craig Anderson minutes apart in the second period Authentic Jordan Whitehead Jersey , Casey DeSmith stopped 34 shots and the Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators 4-0 to clinch second place in the Metropolitan Division and home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. Phil Kessel got his 34th goal of the season and Patric Hornqvist pushed his career-high to 29 when he beat Anderson late in the third period for the Penguins, who will host Columbus, New Jersey or Philadelphia next week. Anderson finished with 19 saves but was beaten twice from behind the goal line in the second period as the Senators lost for the ninth time in 11 games. Ottawa and Pittsburgh met in the Eastern Conference finals 10 months ago, with the Penguins winning on an overtime goal in Game 7 before going on to beat Nashville for their second straight Cup. The Senators hoped it would be a springboard to becoming perennial contenders. Instead they will miss the postseason for the third time in five years. DUCKS 5, STARS 3 ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Jakob Silfverberg had a goal and two assists to help Anaheim keep up its surge toward the postseason with its ninth win in 11 games. Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano each had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who leapfrogged the Los Angeles Kings by one point for third place in the Pacific Division. The playoff-bound rivals have been trading the spot down the stretch, and the race will go down to the last day of the regular season. Rickard Rakell and Derek Grant also scored for Anaheim before Cogliano got a key breakaway goal with 5:25 to play. Ryan Miller made 23 saves to win his second straight start in place of John Gibson. Miller also earned the 369th victory of his NHL career, tying Tom Barrasso for second among U.S.-born goaltenders. Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist, and Marc Methot and Radek Faksa also scored for Dallas. Mike McKenna stopped 28 shots in his second appearance of the season. LIGHTNING 7, SABRES 5 TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Nikita Kucherov became the second player in the NHL to reach 100 points this season Youth Alex McGough Jersey , and Tampa Bay took a two-point lead for the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Divisiion lead. Kucherov scored in the first period and got his 100th point assisting on Dan Girardi’s goal 1:04 into the second that put the Lightning up 4-2. Edmonton’s Connor McDavid tops the league with 106 points. According to the NHL, this is the first season since 2009-10 with multiple 100-point players. The Lightning got two goals from Anthony Cirelli, while Yanni Gourde, Brayden Point and Victor Hedman also scored. Alex Killorn had three assists and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27 shots. Casey Mittelstadt and Alexander Nylander each got his first NHL goal for the last-place Sabres. Jason Pominville, Jordan Nolan and Kyle Okposo also scored for Buffalo, and Chad Johnson had 27 saves. BLUES 4, BLACKHAWKS 1 CHICAGO (AP) – Patrik Berglund scored three times, including a tiebreaking rebound goal in the third period, and St. Louis moved into position for the last Western Conference wild card. Carter Hutton made 19 saves as St. Louis stopped a three-game slide. Jaden Schwartz also scored in the third after an ugly turnover by the Blackhawks. The Blues (44-31-6) moved one point ahead of the idle Avalanche (42-30-9) heading into their finale in Colorado on Saturday night. St. Louis has won three of four against Colorado this season. Erik Gustafsson scored for Chicago, and Jean-Francois Berube made 31 saves. The last-place Blackhawks (33-38-10) finished with an 18-18-5 record at home. The tumult and uncertainty of the Los Angeles Chargers' relocation season is finally a memory. Now it's time to find out whether the Chargers truly left their San Diego identity back in San Diego. A franchise with one Super Bowl appearance in its entire history and one playoff victory in the past decade has one of its most promising teams in many years. Coach Anthony Lynn's second roster is stacked with talent, fully settled in Orange County and reaping the benefits of coaching staff continuity. Everything is in place for the Chargers to make a playoff run, perhaps even a Super Bowl surge. But after years of unfulfilled potential and catastrophic injury setbacks Authentic Alex Cappa Jersey , even the Chargers themselves are waiting to see how the season develops before pronouncing themselves contenders. "It's interesting, because it's been a while," quarterback Philip Rivers said of external expectations of success. "I've been on some teams here that had those expectations, and we went out and did it year after year there for a while. It's been a long time, though. There aren't many guys that have been through that on this team." The Chargers know what they've got, however. It's tough to identify many weak spots on their roster, and they have everything from a favorable schedule to a wide-open AFC West working in their favor. They've also got Lynn, offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in charge for the second straight season, making them the only team in the division with that much coaching continuity. "I can say I definitely feel a little bit more comfortable, knowing what to expect," Lynn said. "We're not moving, and not living out of boxes. We're definitely more comfortable Matt Calvert Jersey , but the expectations have not changed. Not one bit." Los Angeles is loaded with skill-position talent, including Rivers throwing to Pro Bowl receiver Keenan Allen and several strong targets in the NFL's best passing offense of 2017. Workhorse running back Melvin Gordon is healthy, and the offensive line got a boost with the addition of hard-nosed center Mike Pouncey. The Chargers have had other outstanding rosters in the past quarter-century, but none of them made it to the Super Bowl. This team clearly has a shot, but don't expect many Bolts to get that far ahead of themselves. "We're not thinking that far down the line," said Rivers, entering his 13th consecutive season as the Chargers' starter. "That kind of stuff doesn't always help. We're focused on Week 1 against Kansas City, and we'll go from there." DYNAMIC DUO The Chargers could have one of the NFL's top defenses led by Bosa and Ingram. The elite pass-rushing duo has combined for 41 1/2 sacks over the last two seasons, and there's little reason to think those two won't continue tormenting quarterbacks all year. Ingram has looked particularly sharp in preseason games, while Bosa has been slowed by injury. Bradley said the duo's presence changes every offense faced by the Chargers because opponents must game-plan around the threat. OLDER MAN RIVERS Rivers turns 37 during the season, but he still isn't close to retirement. He also remains one of the NFL's most consistent passers, racking up at least 4 ,000 yards and 27 touchdown passes in eight of the past nine seasons. Rivers expertly commanded the Bolts' offense during their late-season surge for nine wins in 12 games, and he benefited from an offensive line that barely allowed him to be touched. Tackles Russell Okung and Joe Barksdale are back to keep Rivers upright. STOP THE RUN The Chargers' greatest defensive flaws were exposed by strong rushing games last season, and it's still not clear whether they've shored up their stoutness against the run. Defensive tackle Corey Liuget also will miss the first four games under suspension, but Darius Philon will attempt to keep the middle strong. Los Angeles could use a strong season from linebackers Denzel Perryman and rookie Uchenna Nwosu, who will play a key role in their run-stopping efforts. BIG MIKE Williams barely played last season after an injury kept him out of training camp, but the No. 7 overall pick has been a revelation in August. Using his size and speed to full advantage, Williams has embarrassed defensive backs and even held his own against Casey Hayward, the Chargers' Pro Bowl cornerback. Williams could be poised for a breakout season in a receiving group that's already stacked with talent. KICKING GAME The Chargers used four kickers last season and lost at least two games that likely could have gone their way with a made field goal. Caleb Sturgis and Roberto Aguayo have been competing for the job throughout camp, and the winner's early-season performance will be heavily scrutinized as a bellwether for the Bolts' future. Dallas Cowboys Jerseys
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    All-America defensive tackle Maurice Hurst has been given the OK by doctors to participate fully at Michigan's pro day Youth Darius Leonard Jersey , according to a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke Thursday night to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the clearance wasn't announced. Hurst, a potential first-round pick, was held out of drills at the combine three weeks ago after doctors red-flagged a heart condition. NFL teams will have an opportunity to watch Hurst and other former Wolverines go through drills, run and lift weights on Friday. The 6-foot-2, 280-pound Hurst had 59 tackles, including 13 for losses and 5 1/2 sacks last season. Hurst, who is from Westwood, Massachusetts, is regarded as one of the top prospects at defensive tackle available in the draft. His father played for the New England Patriots as a cornerback for seven seasons, starting 102 games. At the combine earlier this month, Hurst told Utah defensive lineman Lowell Lotulelei he had been diagnosed with the same heart condition as Lotulelei's older brother, Star. "I just found out in the NFLPA meeting that we just had. He just said Baker Mayfield Jersey Elite , 'Star was your brother?' And I said yeah. He's like, 'Man, I just got the same thing that he did,'" Lowell Lotulelei told reporters. "Obviously I didn't go through it, so I don't really know what he's feeling like. But I kind of understand the disappointment just because my brother trained just like he trained and you're expecting one thing and getting another. I feel for him. It sucks. But I think he'll be fine just like my brother was." Five years ago, Star Lotulelei arrived at the combine as the expected first pick in that year's draft. Things changed dramatically after doctors identified an "abnormal" test on his heart. Lotulelei sought additional opinions and was eventually cleared to exercise. He was taken by Carolina with the 14th overall selection in the 2013 draft. And has missed just four games over five NFL seasons. As the Minnesota Vikings conducted their first full-team practice of training camp, the offensive linemen, once again, found themselves in the spotlight. The center of attention is precisely where these players would prefer not to be, and their position coach's sudden death was about the worst circumstance imaginable. The day after the starters served as pallbearers at Tony Sparano's memorial service, they turned their focus back to the field while carrying forward those lessons learned about the game and about life. "He took me to places I couldn't go as a player and as a man," center Pat Elflein said. "It wasn't just football with him. He really cared about his players Womens Melvin Gordon Jersey , the well-being of his players, and it hurts." Sparano's personality in practice was gruff. He was simply aiming to help his players improve, and once they realized the passion behind his motives they quickly gained a deep appreciation for his presence that's been dearly missed this week. "It's still there," Elflein said. "You can still sense it in the room, that Tony's not there, but he is." Injuries have taken a toll on this group over the last few years. Some draft picks didn't develop, and some free agent additions didn't fit. Add that all up, and Minnesota's offensive line has struggled more than any other position group on the team since head coach Mike Zimmer was hired in 2014. Strides were made last year, but the NFC championship game loss at Philadelphia showed there's a long way to go. That's where the toughness and pride that Zimmer hired Sparano to more deeply instill in the blockers ought to continue on even without their leader. "What his vision was on the makeup of his offensive line and what he truly believed in, over the past two years we've really focused on bringing in," general manager Rick Spielman said. "I used to kid him all the time, 'It's like watching a bunch of Tony Sparanos running around the building.' They're all in that mold. But I do think the group that we have Yannick Ngakoue Jersey , that they will rally. I know that they will want to make him proud as we move forward." Zimmer announced Saturday his decision to switch tight ends coach Clancy Barone to become co-offensive line coach with Andrew Janocko, who assisted Sparano last season. Todd Downing, who was Oakland's offensive coordinator last year and hired by the Vikings as a senior offensive assistant, will assume supervision of the tight ends. "We're still kind of mourning Tony, but he would've wanted us to move on, get back to grinding, so that's what we're going to do," left tackle Riley Reiff said. Barone coached tight ends and offensive line at different times during eight seasons with Denver, where he was before joining the Vikings last season. Janocko is in his fourth year on Zimmer's staff. "I feel really good about it," Zimmer said. "These guys are experienced in the things that they're doing, and I think it was the best way to go." Continuity was the top priority in replacing Sparano, who died of heart disease on Sunday at age 56. "For the last two years we've worked really hard on the footwork and the techniques and the schemes we were running , so I felt like it was important that we continue to do that regardless of whatever we decided to do," Zimmer said. Reiff is the anchor of the group, which has begun training camp in a mild state of flux with Elflein recovering from offseason surgeries on his ankle and shoulder. Nick Easton, likely the starting left guard again, has been handling center with Elflein still in rehabilitation mode. Mike Remmers has made what appears to be a permanent move to right guard, and Rashod Hill is in place at right tackle. While Elflein is out, newcomer Tom Compton is taking most of the turns at left guard. "These guys are professionals. They understand that things happen. This isn't the first time that something's happened to us here," Zimmer said. "So we're used to overcoming adversity, and that's what we're going to continue to do." Authentic Los Angeles Rams Jerseys
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    BOSTON — Last Saturday in Seattle Vladislav Namestnikov Jersey , Mariners left-hander Wade LeBlanc pitched what had to be the game of his journeyman career in outdueling Steven Wright and handing the Boston Red Sox a 1-0 defeat. The Mariners haven’t won since as they head into Friday night’s rematch between the two pitchers in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night at Fenway Park. The Red Sox won the Sunday game in Seattle and then lost the first two games in Minnesota before rebounding a 9-2 win and Rick Porcello’s ninth win of the season on Thursday. After losing the game Sunday, the Mariners were swept in a three-game series by the Yankees in the Bronx — to start a difficult 10-game swing through the East that concludes with a four-game series in Baltimore. LeBlanc, who has been pitching well in his latest role, is 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA and has yielded only 11 earned runs in nine starts — capped by 7 2/3 shutout innings (two hits, no walks, nine strikeouts) against the Red Sox. He is just 33-35 with a 4.23 ERA in his career Adidas Brad Marchand Jersey , but much of the negative numbers are in the past — at least for now. After beating the Red Sox, he said, “That’s a stout lineup over there, but the fact that me and Z (catcher Mike Zunino) were able to mix things up and put them in the rocking chair makes things easier. Everything was executed and that’s really all I can say. It’s the most important thing for me — it’s to execute pitches. Today, me and Z were able to do that.” But the team has faltered since, blowing a 5-0 lead in Wednesday’s game before losing 4-3 on Thursday. “Coming in here , we have been playing very good baseball,” said Seattle manager Scott Servais, whose team has dropped five of its last seven. “We know what kind of ballclub they have with the power and the bullpen. I thought we were right in the game the last couple of days. “But you have to hit on the road. You have to get big hits on the road. We just didn’t get it done. It doesn’t detract or take away from anything that we’ve done to this point. Our guys are not down at all.” The Boston bats snoozed through the first two games in Minneapolis, wasting starts by Chris Sale and David Price. The bats broke out Thursday, avoiding the sweep and leaving the Red Sox (50-26) as one of three American League teams with 50 wins. “I think it was just a couple of tough days,” Mookie Betts Carlos Dunlap Jerse , who hit is 19th homer of the season Thursday, said after the game. “We came out ready to swing it and it just showed what we can do.” Wright has been outstanding since making his delayed 2018 debut (after knee surgery and a 15-game MLB suspension). He is 2-1 with a 1.23 ERA and gave up just the one losing run in the matchup with LeBlanc. “He’s been great. Outstanding, really,” Cora said. “I heard a lot of good things about him before I got here and he’s showed why.” He is 2-2 with a 1.31 ERA in four games (two starts) against the Mariners. Kyle Seager is 3-for-9 and Nelson Cruz 2-for-6 (both .333), and Zunino is 1-for-8 (.125) and Dee Gordon 1-for-6 (.167) against the knuckleballer. LeBlanc is 1-0 with a 3.24 ERA in three career starts against Boston. The Current Red Sox roster is a combined 3-for-16 against him. J.D. Martinez is 2-for-3 (.667) and no one has with more than three at-bats against him. Von Miller says he didn't do anything wrong when on a recent shark fishing excursion in Florida that's drawn the interest of conservation officials. The Denver Broncos star said he's an avid hunter and fisherman who always follows the rules. "I was shocked" to catch a hammerhead shark in the first place, Miller said Tuesday in his first public comments about the excursion. Miller later released his catch back into the water. "I went fishing. Everybody knows that I hunt and fish. It's what I do. But I also believe in conservation. I'm not just out there going crazy Nikolaj Ehlers Jersey ," Miller said on the second day of the Broncos' offseason program. "We followed the rules. I did everything I was supposed to do." The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission received complaints after Miller posted the catch on social media. The commission is investigating whether any violations occurred, although Miller said he hasn't been contacted. "No, I haven't talked to anybody about it. It's a serious deal. I don't want to be light-hearted about it," Miller said. "That's just me. But we did everything we were supposed to do when it comes to that situation." Womens New York Giants Jerseys
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    Mike Babcock was at his daughter’s graduation when he received a text message from a friend about reports of a strained relationship with star center Auston Matthews. ”I’ll find out in the morning Frederik Andersen Jersey ,” the Toronto coach replied. ”I’ll meet him. I’ll ask him in the morning.” As the Maple Leafs cleaned out their lockers Friday in the wake of a seven-game loss to the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs, Babcock and Matthews addressed speculation the coach had ”lost” his player during the series. ”I said, `What’s going on?”’ Babcock told reporters of his conversation with Matthews. ”It’s interesting in Toronto, you (media) do such a good job. You’re everywhere. You’re under the bench, you’re in the crack in the door, you’re in the car, you’re in the parking lot. You’re everywhere , and any time anybody does anything there’s a big story. ”I asked him flat-out, `Do we have any (issues)?’ He was sitting right there. We don’t seem to.” Matthews, who had just a goal and an assist against Boston, said talk of friction also was news to him. ”I don’t know what that’s all about,” he said. ”Our relationship’s fine. Obviously, you guys can speculate all you want, but I think it’s pointless. ”Stuff happens Anthony Duclair Jersey , people speculate. I can tell you right now it’s not the case.” The 20-year-old from Arizona scored 34 goals in regular season despite missing 20 games due to injury, but admitted to being frustrated in the Bruins series following a Game 7 where Toronto blew a 4-3 lead in the third period before losing 7-4. ”Auston’s a young man trying to be the best player in the world,” Babcock said. ”The hardest part in life is when you’re disappointed and you thought you maybe could have done more. I know that from me as a coach … it makes you sick, almost. He’s a good young man. We’re lucky to have him. I’m lucky to get to coach him, and we continue to grow our product here with him leading the way.” — Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott is not pleased with receiver Kelvin Benjamin questioning why the Carolina Panthers drafted him, and criticizing former teammate Cam Newton’s accuracy. McDermott says “there’s a time and a place” to discuss those things, adding “this was not one of them.” McDermott says he’s informed Benjamin this is not how he wants his players to air their grievances. McDermott spoke Sunday before the Bills returned to practice following a day off Bryan Bulaga Jersey , and two days after Benjamin voiced his criticisms in an interview with The Athletic. Benjamin was quoted as saying getting drafted by the Panthers was “a bad fit from the get-go,” when asked to assess his final 2½ seasons in Carolina. Without mentioning Newton specifically, Benjamin said he could have been more productive with “any other quarterback.” He then pinpointed several star quarterbacks, including Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, in saying they had the knowledge and accuracy of placing a pass to a spot that makes it easier for a receiver to catch the ball. The Panthers’ first-round pick in 2014, Benjamin set team records for rookies with 73 catches, 1 Chargers Elite Jerseys ,008 yards receiving and nine touchdowns. He missed the entire 2015 season with a left knee injury, and totaled 95 catches for 1,416 yards and nine touchdowns in his next 24 games before being traded to Buffalo in October. Benjamin previously told The Associated Press he asked to be traded. McDermott said one issue he had with Benjamin’s comments is that the Bills open their preseason Thursday hosting Carolina. What makes Benjamin’s comments more awkward is McDermott and Bills general manager Brandon Beane previously worked together for the Panthers. McDermott spent six seasons as Carolina’s defensive coordinator before being hired by Buffalo in 2017. Beane was the Panthers’ assistant general manager, and had a hand in drafting Benjamin. Authentic New England Patriots Jerseys
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    The Arizona Cardinals suspended general manager Steve Keim for five weeks and fined him $200 Kyzir White Color Rush Jersey ,000 after he pleaded guilty in court Tuesday to extreme DUI following a Fourth of July arrest in a Phoenix suburb. A Chandler police report shows Keim had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19, more than twice Arizona’s legal limit of 0.08 for drivers. It wasn’t immediately clear when Keim would be sentenced or if he was facing a jail term. The Cardinals report to training camp at University of Phoenix Stadium on July 27. Keim has been the Cardinals GM since 2013 and signed a contract extension in February through the 2022 NFL season. According to the arrest report, Keim told police he only had two beers and ate pizza two hours before he got pulled over around 12:30 a.m. in Chandler. But officers said they smelled alcohol on Keim’s breath and he had slurred speech. Keim also refused to take several field sobriety tests, but did consent to have his blood drawn. ”As stated at the time of the incident, this behavior is indefensible and completely unacceptable,” the Cardinals said in a statement Tuesday. ”While Steve has accepted full accountability and responsibility for his actions, that does not diminish their gravity nor the severity of the consequences that result from them. ”Those who work within the National Football League – particularly those in leadership positions – bear a greater responsibility and are held to a higher standard than simply a legal one and we feel that these measures are reflective of that.” During his suspension, Keim will be barred from the Cardinals’ facilities and prohibited contact with the team. He won’t be allowed to return to the team until after he’s completed counseling and evaluation plus a DUI education course. The $200,000 fine will be donated to the Arizona chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. ”Once again, I apologize to everyone who has been negatively impacted by my actions and incredibly poor judgment, in particular the Cardinals, our fans and my family Jets Sam Darnold Jersey ,” Keim said in a statement released by the team Tuesday. ”I fully deserve and accept the punishment that has been issued. My goal is to do everything I can to grow from this personally and help others learn from my inexcusable behavior.” — Saquon Barkley needed one play to justify the hype. After banging and grinding for small gains much of the game, the No. 2 overall draft pick wowed New York Giants' fans in his NFL debut with a spectacular 68-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown run in a 20-15 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. The Penn State product finished with a game-high 106 yards rushing, caught two passes for 22 yards and showed there was a good reason why he was the most-hyped rookie to join the franchise since Lawrence Taylor started a Hall of Fame career in 1981. "That's why we drafted that young man," Giants coach Pat Shurmur said after the Jaguars spoiled his coaching debut with New York. Defensive end Calais Campbell, one of six Pro Bowlers on a Jaguars defense that was ranked No. 2 overall last season, was impressed with Barkley after the first few plays of the game, a run for zero and another for minus-3. "The first run and the first couple of times I tackled him, I said, this kid has something," Campbell said. "Obviously, you see it on tape Dre Kirkpatrick Jersey , but we didn't get to watch a lot of tape on him. It's his college tape. Coming into the NFL against a team like ours, and making some of the plays he made, that kid's going to be special." Campbell said he traded jerseys with Barkley after the game. "I was like, "OK, if he can stay healthy, he might one day be a Hall of Famer," Campbell said. The touchdown run was impressive. Barkley took a handoff from Eli Manning inside, cut it to the outside, stepped out of a tackle attempt and ran down the right sideline, getting a great block from receiver Sterling Shepard. "It was amazing; it was a great feeling, but it was a feeling that came and went," Barkley said. "One touchdown is not going to win the game Adidas Mats Zuccarello Jersey , and that touchdown didn't win the game this week, but to get in there, it was a dream come true to find the end zone. I did keep the ball, but it was just like 'Move on, next play,' and find a way to get in there again." For most of the game, the Jaguars held Barkley in check . Eleven of his 18 carries were for 3 yards or less. "Yeah, obviously, you wish that they were all 75- and 80-yard runs, but it wasn't like that in college and I didn't expect it to be like that in the NFL," the 21-year-old said. "You have to take what they give you. It's kind of like playing chess: When you get your opportunity, you have to execute." Barkley said there was one play where he realized that NFL is going to be a lot different than college. He made a player miss on a run Youth John Moore Jersey , broke outside and was tackled by free safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. "In college, that was a touchdown," Barkley said. "It was a great play by him." It just reminded Barkley that big plays are special. "Today, we didn't pop one until like the fourth quarter or end of the third, so you just have to continue to stay with it," he said. "That's what I kept saying, the offensive line and also to just stay with it, something is going to pop, and when they give us that chance, we have to make them pay for it." Denver Broncos Customized Jerseys
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    The Washington Nationals have activated right-hander Jeremy Hellickson from the 10-day disabled list and will start him against Philadelphia. The Nationals made the move before playing at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday. Reliever Sammy Solis was sent to Triple-A Syracuse. Hellickson is 2-0 with a 2.28 ERA in nine starts this season. The veteran right-hander has been sidelined since June 4 with a right hamstring strain. He was 6-5 for Philadelphia last year. Solis is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 40 games this season. In 28 innings Womens Connor Hellebuyck Jersey , the left-hander has allowed 22 hits with 30 strikeouts and 15 walks. Also, Washington transferred third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who has been out since May 10 with a strained right oblique, to the 60-day DL. The Nationals reinstated catcher Raudy Read from the restricted list and optioned him to Triple-A Syracuse. Read, who appeared in eight games last season, is coming off an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Jorge Bonifacio served his suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, and he just wants to move on. One swing at a time. Bonifacio hit a two-run drive for his first homer since rejoining Kansas City late last month, helping the Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 5-0 on Saturday for just their second win in July. ”I’ve been feeling pretty good lately Marshall Faulk Jersey ,” he said. ”I just want to keep working on that and keep swinging good.” Bonifacio connected after Whit Merrifield led off the game with a single, sending a drive into the home bullpen in left. He also drove in Paulo Orlando with a triple in the fifth, providing more than enough support for Danny Duffy in the left-hander’s second straight scoreless outing. The 25-year-old Bonifacio broke into the majors last year, hitting 17 homers in 113 games for Kansas City. But he missed the first part of this season after a positive test for Boldenone, resulting in an 80-game suspension. ”He knows he made a mistake, he knows he paid for it and now he’s going,” manager Ned Yost said. Duffy (5-8) struck out eight while pitching seven innings of four-hit ball. He tossed six scoreless innings at Minnesota on Monday night, but left with a no-decision after the Twins rallied for a 3-1 win. Such is life with the last-place Royals (27-67) Authentic Martin Kaut Jersey , who have just five wins in their last 29 games. ”We’ve been doing our best to treat each day like a new day,” Duffy said, ”and there’s an opportunity to win a baseball game every day.” The White Sox (32-62) lost for the seventh time in nine games. Reynaldo Lopez (4-7) allowed five runs and nine hits in 7 2/3 innings in his first start since his wife, Jhilaris, gave birth to a baby girl named Zoe on Friday. ”It was a really good outing,” Lopez said through a translator. ”I just made two mistakes. I paid for them.” Lopez, who played with a pink glove with his daughter’s name sewn into it, kept Chicago in the game before surrendering a two-run homer to All-Star Salvador Perez on a 0-2 pitch in the eighth. It was Perez’s 13th of the season. The White Sox also lost second baseman Yoan Moncada to a bruised right knee in the fifth. Moncada was hit by the ball while going to catch a pickoff attempt at second. X-rays were negative Patrice Bergeron Jersey , and the team said he is day to day. ”I feel really sore,” Moncada said through a translator. ”It’s nothing serious.” IMPRESSIVE STUFF White Sox third baseman Yolmer Sanchez made a terrific over-the-shoulder grab on Alex Gordon’s foul popup in the second inning. Gordon got a measure of revenge in the seventh, making a nice lunging catch to take a potential hit away from Tim Anderson. REMEMBER THE TIME The White Sox paid tribute to their 1993 AL West championship team all day long. Led by AL MVP Frank Thomas, the White Sox won 94 games that season before losing to Toronto in the AL championship series. Bo Jackson, Ozzie Guillen, 1993 AL Cy Young Award winner Jack McDowell and Hall of Famers Tim Raines and Thomas were among the players introduced during a pregame ceremony. McDowell threw a ceremonial first pitch to Guillen, and the team showed highlights from that season on their center-field videoboard during the game. ”It was the most talented team I was ever on,” Thomas said. ”I thought we should have won it that year. We fell a little short.” TRAINER’S ROOM Royals: Yost said RHP Jakob Junis (back tightness) will start the team’s second game after the All-Star break next Saturday against Minnesota. White Sox: RHP Nate Jones (strained forearm muscle) threw live batting practice. He also threw live BP on Wednesday. UP NEXT The White Sox send Lucas Giolito to the mound for the series finale Sunday afternoon. The Royals are planning a bullpen day David Bakhtiari Jersey , beginning with right-hander Burch Smith. Giolito (5-8, 6.59 ERA) is coming off perhaps his best outing of the season, limiting the World Series champion Astros to two runs in a career-long 7 1/3 innings in a 2-1 loss last Sunday. Smith (0-0, 5.83 ERA) just made his first start of the year Wednesday at Minnesota, throwing 71 pitches over 3 1/3 innings in an 8-5 loss. ”Let him go ahead and start it off, 50 to 60 pitches somewhere in there just to monitor how he’s feeling and kind of go from there,” Yost said. — Jay Cohen can be reached at Womens San Francisco 49ers Jerseys
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    Rather than retire Kalen Ballage Color Rush Jersey , Frank Gore is joining his hometown team. The NFL's active rushing leader agreed to terms with the Miami Dolphins, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Thursday. The person confirmed the agreement to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal won't be final until Gore passes a physical. Gore, who turns 35 next month, grew up in South Florida and played for the Miami Hurricanes. He rushed for 961 yards for Indianapolis last year, and when the Colts decided against trying to re-sign him, there was speculation the 2017 season might have been his last. But the Dolphins want to give the durable Gore a chance to provide depth at running back behind Kenyan Drake, who became Miami's starter last year and averaged 4.8 yards per carry. Miami also kept defensive end William Hayes D.J. Fluker Color Rush Jersey , signing him to a one-year contract. Hayes, acquired by Miami in a trade a year ago, played in 10 games as a backup in 2017 before being placed on injured reserve because of a back injury. Gore has rushed for 14,026 yards in his NFL career to rank fifth on the all-time list. He spent three seasons with the Colts, and in 2016 became the league's oldest 1,000-yard rusher since John Riggins in 1982. Gore also played for the San Francisco 49ers and has started every game since 2011. Michael Jordan hired proven general manager Mitch Kupchak this offseason to help turn around a franchise mired in mediocrity since he became the Charlotte Hornets‘ majority owner eight years ago. But that doesn’t mean the highly competitive Jordan won’t have input on personnel decisions, beginning with the NBA draft on Thursday night. Kupchak said in a pre-draft news conference Tuesday that he’ll have final say in who the Hornets select before quickly adding Ziggy Ansah Jersey , ”well, with the exception of one person – and obviously that’s ownership.” Kupchak has won 10 NBA championships, including seven as an executive with the Los Angeles Lakers – so he knows a thing or two about building a winning roster. But he’s quickly learning that Jordan, who many consider the best NBA player ever, is still very much a hands-on owner when it comes to the players he employs. And Kupchak understands that. ”There is a huge business component to our relationship,” Kupchak said. Kupchak said he has communicated with Jordan on the phone and via text throughout the draft evaluation process. The 55-year-old Jordan arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina on Monday and the two have been studying tape on potential draft picks since. The Hornets , who have failed to make the playoffs three of the past four seasons, have the 11th overall pick in the draft. Kupchak has known Jordan since he was a freshman at the University of North Carolina. However, Kupchak said that while they both are former Tar Heels, he never had considered Jordan a friend prior to being hired this past offseason to replace Rich Cho as Hornets general manager. Since then they have had dinner together and gotten to know each other a little more. He said the relationship has changed for the better. ”Hopefully when all is said and done, our other relationship, which is our friend relationship continues to grow and is not altered in any way,” Kupchak said. ”There are no favors being done here. We’re friends and I think we’ll remain friends A.J. Green Jersey , but the bottom line in this business is success and winning games.” Kupchak was rather forthcoming in the team’s pre-draft press conference Tuesday, saying the does not expect to trade the 11th overall pick. He also said he expects that the handful of top-notch big men will be off the board by the time the Hornets make their selection. ”Right now I think the best player on the board is the player we are going to go after – and I’d expect that player to be a guard or a wing,” Kupchak said. ”… I think we expect that we will be looking at guards and wings, but we will see.” — Authentic Cincinnati Bengals Jerseys
  26. CLEVELAND (AP) — Buffalo quarterback AJ McCarron sustained a potentially serious shoulder injury Adidas Pekka Rinne Jersey , throwing the Bills‘ quarterback situation into total disarray, during a 19-17 win over the Cleveland Browns on Friday night. McCarron, who signed with Buffalo as a free agent for a chance to start after four years as a backup in Cincinnati, completed just 3 of 6 for 12 yards during four series. The 27-year-old didn’t show any obvious signs of being hurt — he was hit hard from behind by Myles Garrett and sacked by Larry Ogunjobi — and the Bills didn’t disclose his injury until the fourth quarter. McCarron is competing with Nathan Peterman and rookie Josh Allen for Buffalo’s starting job. Allen, the No. 7 overall pick, out-performed McCarron and Peterman rallied the Bills (2-0) with a late touchdown pass to tight end Nick O’Leary. Rookie Nick Chubb and Carlos Hyde had touchdown runs for the Browns (1-1). PANTHERS 27, DOLPHINS 20 CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Christian McCaffrey had 120 yards from scrimmage in the first half, including a 71-yard touchdown run and Carolina defeated Miami. McCaffrey had 92 yards rushing on five carries and caught four passes for 28 yards for Carolina (2-0). Cam Newton overcame an early interception and two sacks by Robert Quinn to finish 9 of 12 for 89 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown pass to speedy rookie tight end Ian Thomas to give Carolina a 13-9 lead before exiting near the end of the first half. Ryan Tannehill was an effective 14 of 17 for 100 yards despite playing without wide receivers DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills, but Miami (0-2) struggled to finish drives and settled for three field goals in the first half. Kenyan Drake had 54 yards rushing on eight carries. CHIEFS 28, FALCONS 14 ATLANTA (AP) — After a dismal showing in the first preseason game, Matt Ryan and Atlanta found their offensive rhythm. Ryan guided the Falcons right down the field for a touchdown on their first possession, hooking up with Austin Hooper on a 4-yard scoring pass , and led another impressive drive before calling it a night in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Ryan finished 5 of 7 for 90 yards, looking very much like the quarterback who won the MVP during the 2016 season even though two of his top weapons, receiver Julio Jones and running back Devonta Freeman, were held out for the second week in a row. It was certainly an encouraging contrast to the preseason opener, when the Falcons (0-2) were blanked 17-0 by the New York Jets and Ryan played only one brief series. Kansas City’s new starting quarterback Authentic Mike McGlinchey Jersey , Patrick Mahomes, had an up-and-down game. The second-year player was intercepted on a deep throw by Falcons safety Damontae Kazee, who drifted over from the middle of the field to pick a ball intended for Sammy Watkins. Mahomes caught a break when another ill-advised throw into the end zone was dropped by Falcons cornerback Blidi Wren-Wilson, allowing the Chiefs to salvage a field goal. But, with just 17 seconds left in the first half, Mahomes made the most of his final pass. Three Atlanta defensive backs inexplicably allowed Tyreek Hill to get behind them, and Mahomes delivered the pass in stride for a 69-yard touchdown. Mahomes was 8 of 12 for 138 yards. GIANTS 30, LIONS 17 DETROIT (AP) — Davis Webb took advantage of his opportunity to play for Eli Manning, throwing a go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter to help New York beat Detroit. Webb was 14 of 20 for 140 yards with an 8-yard TD pass to Wayne Gallman Jr., who scored for a second time later in the game. Webb showed poise in the pocket and touch down the field, connecting on a perfectly lofted 40-yard pass to Russell Shepard to set up Aldrick Rosas‘ 55-yard field goal in the second quarter. Webb, a 2017 third-round pick, bounced back from a poor performance last week. He was 9 of 22 for 70 yards, sailing passes over open receivers in the preseason opener against Cleveland to raise some concerns about whether he’s ready to be the team’s No. 2 quarterback. The Lions started Matthew Stafford after sitting him in last week’s game at Oakland and he had a shaky game behind a porous offensive line. Stafford was 2 of 5 for 51 yards and was sacked twice and hit once as he threw. Jake Rudock replaced Stafford in the second quarter and finished 23 of 30 for 171 yards with a TD. Rudock came back in the fourth, reliving veteran Matt Cassel, who threw an interception. CARDINALS 20, SAINTS 15 NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Free-agent acquisition Sam Bradford and 10th overall draft choice Josh Rosen combined to provide a promising outlook for Arizona’s quarterback situation. After Bradford completed all six of his passes for 61 yards, Rosen went 10 of 16 for 107 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown to rookie Christian Kirk in a preseason victory over New Orleans. David Johnson bowled his way into the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown to give the Cardinals the game’s opening score Authentic Jake Guentzel Jersey , capping a six-play, 61-yard drive led by Bradford. Kirk finished with four receptions for 49 yards, and Chad Williams caught three passes for 44 yards for Arizona. Saints quarterback Drew Brees sat out the entire game, as he also did when the Saints won their preseason opener in Jacksonville last week. The two reserves competing to back up Brees were able to move the team in spurts but were inconsistent and had issues with ball security, combining for four fumbles, two of which resulted in turnovers by Taysom Hill. Hill, a second-year pro who got the start, also was intercepted twice and finished 11 of 15 for 68 yards to go with 43 yards rushing, all of it coming on one long scramble that led to New Orleans’ first field goal. Savage, who played most The Green Bay Packers' profit fell by nearly 50 percent in the last fiscal year as the team missed the playoffs for the first time in a decade. President and CEO Mark Murphy said the outlook for the Packers remains strong as the NFL's only publicly owned team released its 2018 financial statement on Monday. The Packers announced a profit from operations of $34.1 million, a steep decline from $65.4 million a year earlier. Expenses soared 11.9 percent, from $376.1 million to $420.9 million, a byproduct of player salaries, coaching changes and travel costs. Revenue increased just 3.1 percent from $441.4 million to $454.9 million. "The NFL continues to be very popular nationally," Murphy said. "There's been a lot talked about with ratings that have gone down, but, really, relative to ratings overall, the league remains very strong. The fan interest and support remain strong for both the league and us. Our strong T.Y. Hilton Jersey , stable financial position has allowed us to invest in the team through contracts for players and coaches, our facility, the stadium, the fan experience and community, and making sure the franchise stays strong for the future." Revenue from national sources rose by 4.9 percent, due to built-in increases in the national TV package. Local revenue grew by a scant 0.8 percent. A 7-9 record - the team's first losing season since 2008 - hurt the bottom line. "This is the first year since 2008 that we were not in the playoffs, and I think that had an impact on us," Murphy said. "We didn't have a home playoff game and some of our visitation numbers were down a little bit. We don't see that as a negative trend." The Packers made several big changes during the offseason. Murphy picked Brian Gutekunst to replace longtime general manager Ted Thompson, and coach Mike McCarthy replaced defensive coordinator Dom Capers with Mike Pettine and offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett with Joe Philbin. Plus, quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be back after missing half of last season with a broken collarbone. Murphy said he senses a renewed level of enthusiasm from fans, with the team kicking off its 100th season with the start of training camp on July 26. "Certainly, having Aaron healthy is a part of that, but I think some of the changes we've made coaching staff as well as the draft and players we've added, I think people are excited for the season," Murphy said. "You add on top of that the 100 seasons, it should, knock on wood, be a good year." RODGERS WATCH Rodgers, who is under contract through the 2019 season Dante Pettis Color Rush Jersey , told NBC Sports over the weekend there is "some merit" in working out a "nontraditional contractual agreement." Murphy wouldn't get into specifics but said: "Obviously, he's an important player. He wants to be here and want him to be here. When both sides have a common interest, you get deals done." PLAYER PROTESTS In May, league owners agreed to a policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field for the national anthem but allows them to stay in the locker room if they prefer. The NFL Players Association last week filed a grievance against the league for imposing a policy that is "inconsistent" with the collective bargaining agreement and "infringes" on player rights. Murphy said he was hopeful of a resolution. "I've had a lot of conversations with our players," he said. "We really want to put the focus on the underlying issues and we realize our players are patriotic, they don't disrespect the flag, they don't disrespect the country. We're really looking at the underlying issues of racial discrimination, police brutality. We've had discussions with players about putting resources toward some of the causes." NEXT CBA Murphy said he also hopes the CBA, which will expire after the 2020 season, can be extended. He said the NFL doesn't have the guaranteed money seen in NBA contracts, though "over the last 10 years or so, a higher percentage of the players' money is guaranteed." "To me, the best thing about our collective bargaining agreement is the rookie pay is under control. We've got a system in place that I think is working well. More of the money is going to the veterans, who deserve it and have earned it. There were times under the old agreement that the highest paid players in the league were rookies at their positions, which was crazy." 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  27. The Atlanta Hawks expect to enter NBA free agency next week with about $20 million in salary cap space and three open spots on their roster. General manager Travis Schlenk says the team will be in no rush to spend that money. ”We will not be quickly out of the gate looking to sign guys Dorance Armstrong Jr. Color Rush Jersey ,” Schlenk said Monday, when the Hawks introduced their three first-round draft picks, guards Trae Young and Kevin Huerter and forward Omari Spellman. ”We’ll kind of sit back and see what the market dictates. … We’ll kind of play a waiting game and see how the market plays out.” The market is expected to generate stiff competition for top free agents LeBron James, Paul George and Chris Paul. The Hawks are expected to be observers in those bidding wars. The Hawks may have had more interest in bargain shopping for affordable help on their front line before veterans Dewayne Dedmon and Mike Muscala exercised their contract options to return next season. Guards Malcolm Delaney and Damion Lee are eligible to become free agents. The rebuilding Hawks’ focus is on their youth. The team traded No. 3 pick Luka Doncic to Dallas for Young, the No. 5 pick. Atlanta also acquired a 2019 first-round pick from Dallas in Thursday night’s deal. Only one day later, Young already was featured on billboards around Atlanta. Clearly , Young is seen as the much-needed new face of the franchise as well as the future floor leader of the team. Young wore long pants – but no socks – to Monday’s news conference after making a fashion statement by wearing shorts to the draft. He said he had not yet seen himself on the new billboards. Asked if he’s ready to handle the expectations that come with being a top-five pick, Young said ”I’m just a piece of the puzzle. I’m not the whole thing. … I’m looking forward to working with everybody.” Schlenk and new coach Lloyd Pierce said they expect starting point guard Dennis Schroder to remain with the team and share time with Young. While back in his native Germany to play with his national team this summer, Schroder expressed a desire to be traded. Schlenk said he talked with Schroder about the quote and said ”they just took snippets of his answers.” Pierce said Schroder is on board with the Hawks’ rebuilding plan. ”Talking to Dennis, he’s excited,” Pierce said. ”He was excited about who we were going to end up with in the draft and he’s excited about where we’re headed.” Pierce said it will be important for Young to have Schroder as a mentor, just as former Hawks guard Jeff Teague set the example when Schroder entered the league. ”I think Dennis will be a tremendous role model Blake Bortles Jersey Black ,” Pierce said. ”We’ve talked already about him and Trae not only co-existing but him being a leader for Trae and helping him on the court.” The Hawks still could be receptive to trade inquiries about Schroder. Atlanta’s cap space could be more useful in a trade, possibly involving Schroder for a veteran, than in free agency. Huerter will not play this summer following surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right hand. He wore a brace on his right hand on Monday but said he is recovering quickly and hopes to be cleared before his projected three-month rehabilitation period. Huerter attended Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park, New York, with pitcher Ian Anderson, the Atlanta Braves 2016 first-round pick. Huerter made no friends with Braves fans when he said he is a San Francisco Giants fan and added ”Hopefully I can go to a game and see the Giants beat them.” — Jon Gruden said at the NFL Scouting Combine in February that he wants Amari Cooper to be the “focal point” of the Raiders’ passing game. The fourth-year receiver wants to be just that. 鈥淚t was cool Youth John Tavares Jersey ,鈥?Cooper said, via Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle. 鈥淥bviously, as a receiver, you want to go out there and make plays for your team to win. So for him to say that, it really meant a lot to me. I鈥檓 just ready to come out and work and prove that I deserve to have those opportunities.鈥?/p> Cooper left Tuesday’s practice early with what coach Jon Gruden called a “twing” in his hamstring. Injuries (and drops) hurt him last season when he caught only 48 passes for 680 yards. 鈥淗e鈥檚 got to stay healthy, number one Authentic Evan Bouchard Jersey ,鈥?Gruden said Tuesday. 鈥淲e鈥檝e got to do a lot of things better for him to be better, but number one I think is health.鈥?/p> Cooper caught 72 passes for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie and 83 passes for 1,153 yards and five touchdowns in 2016. He made the Pro Bowl both seasons. He hopes to be that version of himself again this season. Atlanta Falcons Elite Jerseys
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