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Thechants

Postautor: hongwei28 » 21 wrz 2018, 03:57

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (12-6)

New faces: LB Demario Davis Jay Novacek Jersey , S Kurt Coleman, CB Patrick Robinson, WR Cameron Meredith, QB Teddy Bridgewater, OL Jermon Bushrod, TE Ben Watson Geronimo Allison Jersey , DE Marcus Davenport, WR Tre’Quan Smith.

Key losses: S Kenny Vaccaro, TE Coby Fleener, OL Senio Kelemete, WR Willie Snead, RT Zach Strief.

Strengths: QB Drew Brees is 39 but has yet to show signs of decline. The Saints traded with the Jets for Teddy Bridgewater as a backup. Brees also is aided by strong offensive line and strong running game to punish overly aggressive pass rushers. WR Michael Thomas is coming off 1 Geron Christian Jersey ,200-yard season in only second year as pro. And receiver corps appears bolstered by rookie Smith, third-rounder.

Weaknesses: Not many, but pass rush could be one if All-Pro DE Cameron Jordan doesn’t get more help. DE Alex Okafor is trying to come back effectively from torn Achilles tendon. DE Trey Hendrickson has demonstrated potential but remains unproven entering second NFL season. 2018 first-round draft choice Davenport is raw and has been limited by groin pull during camp. Saints interior defensive line starters are third-year pros Sheldon Rankins and David Onyemata, who’ve been reliable but with room to improve.

Fantasy Players To Watch: RB Alvin Kamara. His versatility is what helped him become 2017 Offensive Rookie of Year. Not only was Kamara Saints’ second-leading rusher with 728 yards and eight TDs, but also second-leading receiver with 81 catches for 826 yards and five TDs. Also had 106-yard kickoff return TD, and his 14 total TDs ranked first on Saints http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/josh-jackson-jersey , who ranked second offensively in entire NFL.

Vegas Says: Super Bowl 16-1. Over/Under wins 9 1/2.

Expectations: Barring injuries at key positions, or unanticipated sophomore slumps by Kamara and CB Marshon Lattimore (reigning Defensive Rookie of Year), Saints are primed to repeat as NFC South champs. Nearly all key players return to team that not only won 11 regular-season games in 2017, but was within one play of advancing to NFC title game — 61-yard Minnesota TD as time expired. Nearly all key players return, and if free-agent additions and top draft picks pan out, New Orleans could vie for second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.

The Minnesota Vikings have re-signed kicker Kai Forbath to a one-year contract after a strong finish to his 2017 season.

The deal finalized Wednesday maintains the stability the 30-year-old Forbath has brought to the position since replacing Blair Walsh midway through the 2016 season.

Forbath has missed eight of 53 extra points in 23 games with the Vikings James Daniels Jersey , and he endured some mini-slumps in 2017. But he made a career-best seven field goals from 50-plus yards last year, and he made three of four in the NFC divisional round playoff win over his former team New Orleans. That included makes from 49 and 53 yards in the fourth quarter against the Saints.

Forbath finished 16th in the NFL in the regular season with an 84.2 field goal percentage.

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Evolving his game

Postautor: hongwei28 » 21 wrz 2018, 04:01

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald was the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. For a day.

Defensive end Khalil Mack has eclipsed Donald on most of the major factors Randall Cobb Jersey , with the new contract that was negotiated on Saturday between Mack and the Chicago Bears. Here’s the full breakdown.

1. Signing bonus: $34 million. (Donald got $40 million.)

2. 2018 base salary: $7 million, fully guaranteed at signing.

3. 2019 roster bonus: $4 million, fully guaranteed at signing.

4. 2019 base salary: $11.3 million, fully guaranteed at signing.

5. 2020 roster bonus: $3.7 million, fully guaranteed at signing.

6. 2020 base salary: $13.3 million, guaranteed for injury at signing. Fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2019 league year.

7. 2021 base salary: $17.046 million, $16 million of which is guaranteed for injury at signing. It converts to a full guaranteed on the third day of the 2020 league year.

8. 2022 roster bonus: $5.5 million, due on the third day of the league year.

9. 2022 base salary: $12.05 million Darius Leonard Jersey , non-guaranteed.

10. 2023 roster bonus: $5.5 million, due on the third day of the league year.

11. 2023 base salary: $17.2 million, non-guaranteed.

12. 2024 roster bonus: $5.5 million, due on the third day of the league year.

13. 2024 base salary: $17.55 million, non-guaranteed.

14. Annual roster bonuses from 2019-24 of $200,000.

This equates to a full guarantee at signing of $60 million. By March 2019, $73.3 million will be fully guaranteed. By March 2020, $90 million will be fully guaranteed.

It’s a six-year Tarell Basham Jersey , $141 million extension. That’s a new-money average of $23.5 million. (Donald’s deal has a new-money average of $22.5 million.) In all, it’s a seven-year, $154.846 million deal. That’s a total average at signing of $22.12 million.

None of this means Donald did a so-so deal. His payday was historic, and in many respects it laid the foundation for Mack’s deal to get done in Chicago.

But when it comes to average value at signing and as to new money (along with total guarantee), Mack likely will hold this record among all defensive players for more than a day. Eventually, however, Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa may be the one to surpass it.

Now that quarterback Josh Allen is under contract, the big question remaining is how long it will be before the Buffalo Bills' rookie first-round draft pick takes over the starting job.

The Bills signed Allen to a four-year contract on Wednesday http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/sean-lee-jersey , a day before they open training camp in the Rochester suburbs.

Allen is the heir-apparent starter after Buffalo traded up five spots to select the Wyoming player with the seventh pick in the draft. He was the third quarterback taken in April, and the first ever selected by Buffalo among the top 10 picks in the draft order.

The 22-year-old still has plenty of work ahead to establish himself, and coach Sean McDermott said in June that he has no intention of rushing the quarterback's development.

"It's about bringing him along the right way," McDermott said. "We're not going to put him out there unless we feel like he's ready."

Allen spent all but the final week of the Bills spring minicamps serving as the third-string quarterback, while free-agent addition AJ McCarron and returning backup Nathan Peterman split time with the starters.

At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Allen is a raw but strong-armed and athletic quarterback. He was a two-year starter at Wyoming, where he completed 365 of 649 passes for 5,066 yards with 44 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.

The Bills are again shuffling starters after Tyrod Taylor was traded to Cleveland in March despite helping Buffalo to a 9-7 finish and ending a 17-year playoff drought.

Running back LeSean McCoy was among the players to report Wednesday for the start of camp Youth Fabian Moreau Jersey , team spokesman Derek Boyko told The Associated Press.

McCoy's status was unclear after he was accused of playing a role in his ex-girlfriend being bloodied during a home invasion two weeks ago at a house the running back owns in the Atlanta suburbs.

McCoy denied any involvement in the home invasion and other allegations posted on social media by a woman who appeared to be a friend of his ex-girlfriend.

The Bills issued a statement saying they were gathering information and had been in contact with McCoy and the NFL. The league said it was reviewing the matter.

The Bills placed receiver Zay Jones on the active/non-football injury list. The second-year player had knee surgery in May, which forced him to miss all of the team's spring sessions.

Jones is allowed to work out individually, but is not allowed to practice with the team until the Bills remove him from the list.

Buffalo's second-round draft pick in 2017, Jones also had surgery in January for a shoulder injury, which had nagged him for most of his rookie season.

The Bills also released defensive tackle Tenny Palepoi. He signed with Buffalo in April after spending three seasons with the Chargers.

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Although Brees

Postautor: hongwei28 » 21 wrz 2018, 04:06

Michael Griffin says his 10-year NFL career was a blessing that lasted far longer than some of his former teammates at the University of Texas.

The two-time Pro Bowl safety officially ended that career Monday by signing a one-day contract with the Tennessee Titans and retiring with the franchise that drafted him with the 19th pick overall in 2007. Griffin http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/jamize-olawale-jersey , who wore No. 33 in his career, retired at the age of 33.

"I can't say enough, thank y'all, just thank y'all," Griffin said at a news conference inside the team's indoor practice field. "That's probably all I can say is just thank y'all because it's a blessing, and I'm so thankful to have that opportunity for the last nine years to play for this organization."

Griffin started 10 games as a rookie and played 141 games over nine seasons with Tennessee, including 103 straight between 2007 and 2013. He remains the franchise's all-time leader in tackles by a safety with 912. Griffin also had 25 interceptions, seven sacks Kyler Fackrell Jersey , 11 forced fumbles and six fumble recovers with his best season in 2008 with seven interceptions.

Controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk thanked Griffin for his nine seasons with the Titans and wished him the best in retirement.

"He was such a dependable player for us during his time here, missing only three games over nine seasons, and he was always among our leading tacklers," Strunk said in a statement. "His play earned him two Pro Bowl selections and the respect of his teammates. Michael also was invested in our community, finding ways to make a difference."

The Titans released Griffin in February 2016 when he was tied with Corey Graham of Buffalo for the most games played by a safety in the NFL between 2007 and 2015. Griffin signed with Minnesota but didn't play a game. He then signed with Carolina and started six of 13 games with the Panthers in 2016. He finished his career starting 134 of 154 games played in 10 seasons.

Griffin spent the 2017 season working out in case a team called and finished his degree at Texas. He said even when he was with the Vikings and Panthers he always felt he remained a Tennessee Titan.

"I was always cheering my guys on, always texting them if someone went down, ask how they were doing, keep their heads up Taron Johnson Jersey , if someone was released whatever it may be," Griffin said. "I always stayed in contact with those guys."

Titans linebackers Brian Orakpo and Wesley Woodyard and defensive linemen Jurrell Casey and DaQuan Jones were on hand for Griffin's announcement.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Coach Jason Garrett saw all he needed out of quarterback Dak Prescott on just one drive.

Prescott made the most of his brief appearance in the preseason opener for Dallas by throwing a 30-yard touchdown pass to rookie Michael Gallup on his only drive before the San Francisco 49ers rallied with two late touchdowns to beat the Cowboys 24-21 Thursday night.

“I thought it was a good drive by our offense, a good mix of run and pass,” Garrett said. “Dak made some good decisions. He made a really nice run too keep the drive alive. We got the one-on-one opportunity down the sideline. Michael made a really good release and it was a good throw and catch.”

Nick Mullens threw a 7-yard TD pass to Richie James Jr. with 18 seconds left to cap the comeback. Jeremy McNichols scored on a 1-yard run with 4:24 to go for San Francisco.

San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t fare as well as Prescott in his first game action since signing a $137.5 million, five-year contract this offseason. Garoppolo completed 3 of 6 passes on his one drive.

“We’re trying to do something different things and see what works and what doesn’t,” Garoppolo said. “We haven’t been in that situation in a year and you try to get things rolling.”

More concerning for the 49ers was the fact that six players left with injuries in the first half with the most concerning ones being shoulder injuries to tight end George Kittle and running back Matt Breida that could sideline them for “some time,” according to coach Kyle Shanahan.

“It’s what you scares you about training camp Josh Bellamy Jersey , it’s what scares you about the preseason,” Shanahan said. “You just want the game to end.”

Prescott sat out the first exhibition game last season but got one series of action against the 49ers this year and looked sharp. He completed all three of pass attempts and converted a third-and-9 with a 12-yard scramble.

He capped his night with the deep ball to Gallup, who beat Jimmie Ward down the sideline. Ward got the start at cornerback in place of Richard Sherman, who is nursing a hamstring injury.

With the release of three-time Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant and the retirement of 15-year tight end Jason Witten, the Cowboys are searching for receiving threats this preseason. Gallup, a third-round pick out of Colorado State, has been impressive so far in camp.

“That’s a good feeling,” Gallup said. “Especially for me being so young and being a rookie and everything Lane Taylor Jersey , I needed that boost of confidence. It was a good feeling.”

NATIONAL ANTHEM

No players on either team kneeled during the national anthem, although 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin did raise his right fist throughout the song. The Niners have been at the center of the protests during national anthem ever since Colin Kaepernick began kneeling two years ago. Eric Reid protested last year but both players are no longer with the team. Linebacker Eli Harrold also kneeled during the anthem the past two years but stood to start this season.

INJURIES

The Niners had a parade of injuries early, starting with LB Malcolm Smith limping off with a hamstring issue on the opening drive. TE George Kittle and backup RB Matt Breida left with shoulder injuries. Thomas and backup tackle Garry Gilliam were sidelined by concussions and Harrold had a lower leg injury.

Cowboys OL Marcus Martin limped off the field in the second half with a toe injury, S Marqueston Huff left with a groin injury, and WR Marchie Murdock had an ankle injury.

NOTEWORTHY PERFORMANCES

Joe Thomas got the start at linebacker for Dallas in place of Sean Lee and delivered an interception against C.J. Beathard on a tipped pass by Kavon Frazier. … Cowboys rookie RB Bo Scarbrough had a 28-yard run and scored a 1-yard TD in the second quarter. … James had four catches for 46 yards and fellow rookie Dante Pettis caught a 53-yard pass .

HELMET FOUL

There was one penalty under the new rule prohibiting players from leading with their helmets. San Francisco LB Elijah Lee was called for the infraction on a tackle against Scarbrough in the third quarter.

NEXT UP

Cowboys: Host Cincinnati on Aug. 18.

49ers: Visit Houston on Aug. 18.

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The Predators

Postautor: hongwei28 » 21 wrz 2018, 04:10

Drew Brees will lead the New Orleans offense onto the field at Minnesota and commence the 13th postseason game of his stellar career Eddie Yarbrough Jersey , already armed with seven such victories and one Super Bowl ring for the Saints.

”I prepare for every game as if it’s that magnitude,” Brees said.

”When you’re in games of that magnitude, it’s as if you’ve been there and done it many times before, even if it was just in your mind.”

For Case Keenum, it’s truly all in his mind.

His first start in the NFL playoffs will come when the Vikings kick off their divisional round game on Sunday.

”I’m going to play like I know how to play. I don’t have to be anybody but myself. Not more conservative or less conservative. Either way, I’m going to be me,” said Keenum, whose successful takeover for the injured Sam Bradford helped lead the Vikings (13-3) to their best record in 19 years. ”That’s all I have to be. I’ve got a great squad in this room.”

Solely measuring quarterback experience and accomplishment, the Saints have a clear advantage over the Vikings in this divisional round game to help determine the matchup in the NFC championship game. Keenum, though, has been overcoming the odds all season, let alone his career .

”I always root for guys like that. Kind of the undersized guy that is coming out and nobody wants to give him any credit and always plays with a chip on his shoulder,” Brees said.

Though he was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the second round in 2001 out of Purdue, with Keenum going undrafted out of Houston and needing the Texans practice squad to get his career going in 2012, Brees can relate. He’s shorter than the NFL standard for their position, too. Oh, and they’re both from Texas.

Brees added another highlight last week, with 376 passing yards to help the Saints (12-5) advance with a 31-26 victory over Carolina while the Vikings had a bye.

”Just a guy that I really admire in how he moves the ball down the field and how he operates http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/demarcus-ware-jersey , what kind of leader he is,” Keenum said.

”I read his book a long time ago. I think he’s someone to learn from. I try to watch all of the really good quarterbacks in the offseason and take little things to try to work on my game.”

Here are some other angles to follow with the game:

SLOWED UP: The Pro Bowl pair of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara had the least productive combined performance for the Saints against Carolina, with just 68 total yards from scrimmage. They each had more than 1,500 total yards in 2017.

The Panthers brought one safety closer to the line of the scrimmage to spy on the running back, and it worked.

”This league is a copy-cat league so I wouldn’t be surprised if Minnesota did it,” Kamara said, expressing no concern about the strategy by pointing to Brees, whose passing yardage total against the Panthers was his second-highest of the season.

The Vikings, led by the speed of linebackers Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks, have held several pass-catching running backs to minimal production this season.

LINE ITEM: The Saints will be without starting left guard Andrus Peat, a versatile former first-round draft choice who also filled in for Terron Armstead at left tackle this season when he was injured. Peat broke his fibula against the Panthers.

Senio Kelemete, who has filled in at both guard spots and right tackle this season, is slated to start for Peat. Armstead, meanwhile, said he’s never been close to 100 percent healthy this season.

”But it doesn’t matter,” Armstead said. ”I’m willing and able to put my body on the line for an opportunity to play again next week.”

ZONED OUT: New Orleans defensive coordinator Dennis Allen called for a relatively zone-heavy scheme in the opener, and rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore recalled feeling ”confused about everything” in his NFL debut other than the man-to-man coverage the Saints have been more inclined to let Lattimore play on top opposing receivers. He had five interceptions and was picked for the Pro Bowl.

”That was something that we felt like in that game was going to give us a chance to win the game, and obviously we didn’t play as well as we needed to Dorance Armstrong Jr. Jersey ,” Allen said of Minnesota’s 29-19 victory fueled by a career-best 143.0 passer rating for Bradford . ”Obviously, we’ve looked at that game and how we’ve changed and how we’ve evolved as a defense.”

SUPER BOWL ENVY: New Orleans’ bid for the Super Bowl this season and was considered a favorite given the city is celebrating its 300th anniversary and has long been a popular host for the NFL’s marquee event. But Minnesota’s bid, combining its new stadium and winter carnival approach to related festivities, won out.

Now the Vikings have an opportunity to become the first team to play a Super Bowl on home turf, a feat the Saints would be happy to deny.

”If we want to add a little underlying story to us trying to win this game, it would be nice to be able to do that,” Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said.

”We’ve always talked about, `We want to start the season at Minnesota. We want to end the season in Minnesota,’ and for us that means playing in the Super Bowl.”

SITE MAP: The Saints are 1-6 in their history in the playoffs on the road, including 1-4 under coach Sean Payton. Their first and only such win came after the 2013 season, when they edged the Eagles in a wild-card round game in Philadelphia before losing the following week DeMarcus Lawrence enjoys needling pass-rushing understudy Taco Charlton, who spent plenty of time in the offseason working out with the man who tied for second in sacks in the NFL last year for the Dallas Cowboys.

"He's aggravating," Lawrence said, trying not to show that he was joking. "I go places in Dallas thinking I'm by myself and two seconds later, I see Taco walk in. Why is he always following me?"

Maybe it's because Lawrence is coming off his best season at 14 1/2 sacks while Charlton is trying to deliver on first-round expectations in his second year.

Add Randy Gregory working to get his career back on track after a year away from the NFL on a substance-abuse suspension, and these recent high draft picks by the Cowboys, all defensive ends, offer an interesting trio of story lines going into 2018.

"Encore?" said Lawrence http://www.chicagobearsteamonline.com/prince-amukamara-jersey , who tied Jacksonville's Calais Campbell for second, 2 1/2 sacks behind Arizona's Chandler Jones. "You've just got to stay tuned. We're going to put on a big show this year."

Gregory was activated from the non-football injury list Wednesday following a yearlong suspension over multiple violations of the league's substance-abuse policy.

Coach Jason Garrett says the club did it to allow Gregory to be more active in morning walkthroughs at training camp in California. The Cowboys aren't in any hurry to have him participate in a full padded practice.

"He's been away from football for a long time," Garrett said. "He did a good job of keeping himself in shape. But again, we don't want to compromise him early on here and put him a couple of weeks behind where he should be, so we're going to progress deliberately here."

As for Lawrence and Charlton, it's full-speed ahead. Here's an overview of all three players a week into camp:

LAWRENCE'S MOTIVATION

The Cowboys put the franchise tag on Lawrence at the end of his four-year rookie deal, and there weren't any contract discussions of substance before the deadline to sign a long-term deal expired.

Lawrence, who gets $17.1 million guaranteed this season, was the first pass rusher drafted by the Cowboys after they released franchise sacks leader DeMarcus Ware in 2014. Dallas traded up to early in the second round to get him.

He didn't get his first sack until his second season and had just nine through three years before a quick start in 2017 led to his breakthrough. Now the 26-year-old is playing for a big payday.

"As a kid, they tell you the sky's the limit. They lyin' to you," Lawrence said. "You set your own limits. That's why I said, 'Secure the bag,' because I'm going out there each and every day and showing my son and showing my family I set my own limits."

CHARLTON'S MODEL

The former Michigan player is actually three sacks ahead of Lawrence's pace. Charlton had three as a rookie after the Cowboys took him late in the first round. If nothing else, he knows patience is part of the formula.

The 23-year-old Charlton's debut in the NFL was Lawrence's first season without an injury or season-opening suspension, which Lawrence served in 2016.

"I talk trash, like, he didn't do nothing," Charlton said. "That's kind of how we wing it Larry Allen Jersey , 'Ah, you didn't do nothing. Ah, you did this, I'm going to go faster.' It pushes us to go to that next level. Him doing what he did last year pushed me to try to do that same thing."

Charlton seems much more at ease, speaking freely and frequently with reporters during camp.

"The comfortability level is probably the biggest thing," he said. "There's not so much where I'm wide-eyed seeing what's going on. I roll out here like I belong and I can do whatever I need to do to progress."

GREGORY'S LONG ROAD

The former Nebraska standout has been suspended for 30 of the past 32 regular-season games for multiple violations of the substance-abuse policy.

Gregory was considered a first-round talent when he slid to near the end of the second round of the 2015 draft over off-field concerns that included a positive test for marijuana at the combine.

While he was cleared to return by Commissioner Roger Goodell not long before training camp, Gregory hasn't spoken to reporters. Garrett hesitated to indicate when Gregory might practice for the first time.

"You have brothers falling the wrong way, do you give up on them? No," Lawrence said. "We say togetherness, we say family for a reason. Randy's my brother. We stuck by him for this long time and it's time for him to ball now."

Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, also the defensive line coach, said it's a first for him to have a player back after not seeing him for a year and a half.

"Each night we have a chance in our meetings, we visit," Marinelli said. "He knows the progression that he's got to go through. He's not going to walk out there and it's going to happen. As talented as he is, it doesn't work that way. And he knows that."

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Evolving his game

Postautor: hongwei28 » 21 wrz 2018, 04:15

Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson said recently that he is approaching “every day like my job is on the line” and head coach Sean McDermott didn’t do anything to make it seem like that’s hyperbole when he addressed Lawson’s spot on the team last week.

McDermott was asked how important it is that Lawson is able to stay healthy and show the talent that led the Bills to make him a first-round pick in 2016.

“Like most of our guys Geron Christian Jersey , and in this case Shaq, this is a time for us to grow, to learn, and this case for Shaq, it鈥檚 time that he steps up,” McDermott said, via the Buffalo News. “He鈥檚 adopting the habits of what it takes to be successful in this league on and off the field and he鈥檚 consistent both on his approach off the field as he is on the field. That鈥檚 what we鈥檙e really looking for out of Shaq just like the rest of our players, really, with adjusting to the NFL, adjusting to what鈥檚 expected from them and so he continues to grow and improve in those areas.”

Lawson seems to be getting the message about doing things differently after missing 11 regular season games and last year’s playoff loss because of injury. His comments about his job being on the line came while he was also discussing offseason weight loss designed to keep him on the field in what’s shaping up as a crucial season in his young career.

The Chargers said farewell to one of their 2018 draft picks while making their way to 53 players on Saturday.

Wide receiver Dylan Cantrell was a sixth-round pick in April Dorance Armstrong Jr. Jersey , but he couldn’t find a way to stick on the roster. If he clears waivers, he could return to one of the 10 spots on the practice squad.

In addition to the previously reported cut of kicker Roberto Aguayo, the Chargers also waived defensive lineman Patrick Afriyie, tight end Braedon Bowman, cornerback Tony Brown, cornerback B.J. Clay, linebacker Kyle Coleman, offensive lineman Chris Durant, cornerback Marcus Edmond, offensive lineman Zach Golditch Randy Gregory Jersey , tight end Je'Ron Hamm, safety Micah Hannemann, defensive lineman Marcus Hardison, safety A.J. Hendy, linebacker D'Juan Hines, defensive lineman Bijhon Jackson, tight end Ben Johnson, wide receiver Justice Liggins, fullback Anthony Manzo-Lewis, wide receiver Andre Patton Pernell McPhee Jersey , offensive lineman Spencer Pulley, cornerback Jeff Richards, defensive lineman Steve Richardson, defensive lineman Whitney Richardson, offensive lineman Trent Scott, quarterback Nic Shimonek, wide receiver Nelson Spruce, cornerback Channing Stribling, punter Shane Tripucka, running back Terrell Watson Thurman Thomas Jersey , and offensive lineman Erick Wren.

Tight end Hunter Henry was placed on the regular season PUP list, which leaves open the option of a return after six weeks. Henry tore his ACL in the spring, however, and will almost certainly miss the whole season.

Wide receiver Artavis Scott was placed on injured reserve and offensive lineman Brett Boyko, running back Russell Hansbrough and tight end Cole Hunt were waived/injured to round out the moves by the Chargers.

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Eddie Yarbrough Jersey

Postautor: hongwei28 » 28 wrz 2018, 07:19

The New England Patriots bolstered their pass rush and backfield depth with the free agent signings of defensive end Adrian Clayborn and running back Jeremy Hill on Saturday.

The Patriots also announced the signing of veteran offensive tackle Matt Tobin.

Clayborn Patrik Laine Jersey , 29, played the past three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and is coming off a career-high 9陆-sack season in 2017. The seven-year veteran has 30 sacks over 81 games with Atlanta and Tampa Bay.

New England had 42 sacks in 2017, tied for seventh-most in the NFL.

Hill, 25, is entering his fifth NFL season after spending his first four with the Cincinnati Bengals. A former second-round draft pick out of LSU, Hill played in only seven games in 2017 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

Over his first three seasons, Hill had 2 http://www.officialbluejackets.com/authentic-adidas-david-savard-jersey ,757 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns in 47 games.

Hill joins a Patriots backfield that includes James White, Mike Gillislee and the recently re-signed Rex Burkhead, who was Hill's teammate for three seasons in Cincinnati.

New England lost last season's leading rusher Dion Lewis to Tennessee in free agency.

Tobin, 27, spent last year with the Seattle Seahawks after playing his first four NFL seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. The former Iowa standout entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

The addition of Tobin adds depth to a Patriots offensive line that lost long-time starting left tackle Nate Solder to the New York Giants in free agency.

The Chicago Bears are set to sign Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson and Philadelphia Eagles tight end Trey Burton, giving quarterback Mitchell Trubisky some playmaking targets.

Robinson told ESPN he plans to sign a three-year, $42 million contract Frans Nielsen Jersey Kids , while two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press Tuesday that Burton is leaving the Philadelphia Eagles after agreeing to a $32 million, four-year deal.

Chicago also agreed to a deal with Atlanta Falcons receiver Taylor Gabriel, and Miami Dolphins kicker Cody Parkey also plans to sign with the Bears, people familiar with their situations said.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deals won’t be announced until the league year begins Wednesday.

The Bears also extended one-year tenders to receivers Cameron Meredith and Joshua Bellamy along with cornerback Bryce Callahan, giving them the right to match any offers they receive in free agency.

A 2015 Pro Bowl selection, Robinson was impressed by new Bears coach Matt Nagy and told ESPN, ”I like what he did” as offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs. Robinson also tweeted ”What’s good Chicago!!!?” with a picture of himself in a Bulls game jersey on Tuesday.

The Bears were looking to upgrade their struggling receiving corps and give Trubisky more dependable targets.

The versatile Burton gets a chance to be the No. 1 tight end on the Bears after catching 23 passes for 248 yards and five TDs in Philadelphia’s championship season. He also threw a touchdown pass to quarterback Nick Foles in the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory over New England.

Robinson had a strong training camp last year and looked like he would be an integral part of the offense. But he tore the ACL in his left knee on Jacksonville’s third play of the season and had surgery the following week. The Jaguars went on to win the AFC South and advance to the conference title game.

Robinson has missed 21 games in four seasons Braden Holtby Jersey , though Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said at the NFL scouting combine he is ”right on schedule” in his recovery from the torn ACL.

A second-round draft pick from Penn State, Robinson has 202 catches for 2,848 yards and 22 touchdowns in 43 games. He had 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015, establishing himself as one of the best receivers in franchise history. His production dropped in 2016, with 73 receptions for 883 yards and six scores.

But at 24, he’s young and fills a big need for the rebuilding Bears. Chicago’s leading receiver last year was Kendall Wright with 59 receptions for 614 yards.

Gabriel had 33 catches for 378 yards and a touchdown last season. He has 132 receptions for 1 Elias Lindholm Jersey ,819 yards and eight touchdowns in four seasons with Atlanta and Cleveland.

The Bears are banking on Trubisky’s development to help them end a string of losing seasons. General manager Ryan Pace staked his reputation to the quarterback by trading up a spot with San Francisco last year to draft him with the No. 2 overall pick.

Parkey made 21 of 23 field goals in his lone season with Miami. He worked with new Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor as a member of the Cleveland Browns in 2016, after spending his first two years with the Eagles.

The Bears waived Connor Barth and signed Cairo Santos in November. Santos then suffered a season-ending groin injury, and Mike Nugent finished the season as Chicago’s kicker.

The Bears fired coach John Fox after going 5-11 and finishing last in the NFC North for the fourth straight year. The Bears have missed the playoffs 10 of the past 11 seasons and have not finished with a winning record since 2012.



AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi in Philadelphia contributed to this report.



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Postautor: hongwei28 » 28 wrz 2018, 07:25

PHOENIX — Measurable rain fell Saturday in Phoenix for the first time in three months Tanner Pearson Jersey , much-welcomed relief for a very parched city. Luckily for the Diamondbacks, Paul Goldschmidt’s drought ended a long time before then.

Goldschmidt, the Diamondbacks’ franchise icon and top-producing offensive player for several seasons, started the season in quite a dry spell, too. A slugger who has homered at least 33 times and driven in at least 110 runs three times since 2013, Goldschmidt inexplicably saw his average plunge to as low as .198 on May 22.

Not surprisingly, his team was faltering as he did. The Diamondbacks opened the season 21-8, but during a dreadful May in which they went 8-19, they slid to 26-26 on May 27.

Since then, there’s been little stopping Goldschmidt and little stopping the Diamondbacks Youth John Tavares Jersey , who have reclaimed the NL West lead by going 13-5 in their last 18 games heading into the finale of a four-game series with the New York Mets on Sunday.

Not surprisingly, Goldschmidt has been the man in the middle of it.

Still, Mets left-hander Steven Matz (3-4) managed to stop the Diamondbacks on Saturday night at Chase Field, limiting them to a run over 6 2-3 innings in a 5-1 New York victory. It was an anomaly of sorts because Arizona had won the first two games of the four-game series and the Mets had dropped four in a row and 12 of their previous 13.

However, Goldschmidt drove in the only Arizona run, giving him four RBIs in the series and 15 in his last 10 games, a stretch in which he’s hit six homers and raised his average to .261.

“It was a little bit of a slow night for us offensively,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We did have some opportunities, but we couldn’t get a big hit.”

Or the kind of hits Goldschmidt has been giving them almost nightly.

Michael Conforto had a couple of big hits for the Mets, most importantly a three-run homer in the second inning off Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin (6-3) Christian Dvorak Jersey , the third of Conforto’s career off the left-hander. Conforto also added an RBI double for a Mets offense that had scored three runs or fewer in 11 consecutive games.

“They need to take some confidence out of tonight. They did a really good job,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “We’ve been getting on base more and more the last few games. We got the big hits to get the runners in and we need to keep building that momentum.”

Still, the Diamondbacks will go for the series win Sunday when they send right-hander Clay Buchholz (1-1) to the mound to oppose Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler (2-5).

“We’ve got to make a quick turnaround. (Sunday) is a day game we’ve got to digest this one and get it out of our system and be ready to play some baseball,” Lovullo said.

Buchholz sat out most of last season with the Philadelphia Phillies due to an elbow injury, then was released from his minor league contract by the Kansas City Royals in May. He hooked on with the Diamondbacks franchise shortly after that and has been a pleasant surprise by posting a 3.21 ERA in five starts, including allowing only five earned runs in 24 innings in his first four starts.

Buchholz’s last start was his roughest with Arizona, as he lasted only four innings Tuesday in a 13-8 Diamondbacks win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. He allowed seven hits and six runs, five earned, in four innings.

Buchholz faced the Mets in his first start for Arizona, giving up one run on two hits in five innings of what became a 4-1 Mets victory at Citi Field on May 20. He is 0-1 with an 8.59 ERA in two career starts against the Mets Patrick Marleau Jersey , yielding 10 hits and seven runs in 7 1/3 innings.

Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera gives him the most trouble, going 8-for-16 (.500) with two homers and two RBIs against him.

Wheeler last pitched Tuesday, giving up six runs and eight hits while walking four in 5 2/3 innings of an 8-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

“It’s not like they were killing him all over the park,” Callaway said. “It was a bloop here and a bloop there. Our starters have been so good, you want them to try to get out of their own jams.”

Wheeler is 2-1 with a 2.13 ERA in four career games against Arizona, giving up 25 hits but only six earned runs while striking out 20 and walking five in 25 1/3 innings.

Goldschmidt is 3-for-12 (.250) against him, while Chris Owings is 4-for-9 (.444).

Wheeler last faced the Diamondbacks on May 15, 2017 but didn’t figure in the decision of what became a 7-3 Arizona win after permitting only one run in six innings.

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has donated $10,000 to help the family of a Wisconsin firefighter killed in an explosion.

A natural gas leak in downtown Sun Prairie led to an explosion Tuesday evening that claimed the life of Sun Prairie Fire Department Capt. Cory Barr. He leaves behind a wife and 3-year-old twin daughters.

Kate Cichy, a spokeswoman for GoFundMe Philipp Grubauer Jersey , said in a news release Wednesday evening that Watt has donated $10,000 to the GoFundMe for Barr’s family. She added that the Sun Prairie community has already raised nearly $70,000 for the family.

Watt was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and played college football at Wisconsin. He has been selected to four NFL Pro Bowls.

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Postautor: hongwei28 » 28 wrz 2018, 07:29

Matt Carpenter had a hunch a fastball was coming. When the pitch arrived http://www.officialavalanche.com/authentic-adidas-j.t.-compher-jersey , he delivered.

Carpenter hit a tiebreaking solo homer with two out in the ninth, helping the St. Louis Cardinals edge the Philadelphia Phillies 7-6 on Tuesday night.

Carpenter also had a tying two-run double in St. Louis’ four-run seventh. Tommy Pham homered and singled for the Cardinals, and Kolten Wong also went deep.

Odubel Herrera and Carlos Santana connected for the Phillies.

Seranthony Dominguez (1-1) struck out the first two batters in the ninth and had Carpenter in a 0-2 hole. But Carpenter lined the next pitch, a 98-mph fastball, over the wall in right to extend his homer streak to three games.

Carpenter noticed Dominguez shake off catcher Jorge Alfaro just before the 0-2 pitch and believed the right-hander wanted to throw a fastball.

”I wouldn’t say I sold out for it, but I was ready for it,” he said.

A hard-throwing rookie, Dominguez began his career by tossing 15 2/3 scoreless innings and entered with 27 strikeouts and a 1.27 ERA in 21 1/3 innings.

”You have to step in the box ready to go,” Carpenter said.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Dominguez’s pace actually helped Carpenter.

”You’ve got a guy with that live of an arm, you just need to get the barrel to it,” Matheny said. ”It was a nice swing path.”

The Cardinals trailed 4-2 before rallying against Vince Velasquez and Tommy Hunter.

Velasquez got the first out of the seventh before a single and hit batsman brought manager Gabe Kapler to the mound. Hunter got pinch-hitter Greg Garcia to line out to left before Carpenter doubled, Pham singled and Jose Martinez made it 6-4 with another two-run double.

The Phillies tied it in the eighth on Rhys Hoskins‘ two-run double. Austin Gomber started the inning, but was lifted for Jordan Hicks (3-1) with two out and runners on first and second. Three of Hicks’ four pitches to Hoskins were fastballs that registered at least 100 mph, but the slugger drove the final 101-mph heater into the gap in right-center.

Hicks pitched a perfect ninth, striking out two, to secure the victory.

”Frustrating game to lose, obviously,” Kapler said.

The Phillies opened the scoring with Santana’s RBI groundout in the first. Pham extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games with a two-out homer to deep left in the third, tying it at 1.

Herrera continued his hot hitting against St. Louis by driving the first pitch he saw in the third Brendan Leipsic Jersey Kids , a 79-mph curveball, into the seats in right for a 2-1 Phillies lead.

Cesar Hernandez’s bases-loaded walk in the fourth made it 3-1, but Philadelphia wasted a chance for more when Luke Weaver got Hoskins to pop out to shortstop before fanning Herrera to leave the bases full.

BAD BREAK

The Phillies also lost infielder J.P. Crawford for four to six weeks when he was hit by a Weaver pitch in the fourth, fracturing his left hand.

”It’s really tough,” Kapler said. ”I feel for him the man. I feel for him the player.”

ROAD RAKING

Carpenter has hits in 12 straight road games and is batting .412 with six homers and 11 RBIs over that streak.

FOR STARTERS

The Cardinals’ rally took Weaver off the hook. Weaver was in line for his fifth straight loss when he left after permitting four runs and six hits in five innings.

Velasquez was charged with four runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked three.

CRAZY ABOUT CARDS

Herrera is batting .360 with five homers and 21 RBIs in 25 career games against the Cardinals.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: RHP Matt Bowman (blister right hand) was placed on the 10-day disabled list and replaced by RHP Greg Holland. Holland pitched a perfect seventh with a pair of strikeouts.

Phillies: OF Nick Williams suffered a broken nose in the field on Monday night, and Kapler said after Tuesday’s game that Williams would go through concussion protocol on Wednesday before getting clearance to play.

UP NEXT

Cardinals RHP Michael Wacha (8-2, 3.24 ERA) will oppose Phillies RHP Jake Arrieta (5-5, 3.33 ERA) in the series finale Wednesday afternoon. Wacha had his career-best eight-game winning streak snapped in a 13-5 loss to the Cubs in his last start. Arrieta will try to help the Phillies win their first series over St. Louis since August 24, 2014.

No team wants to distance itself from last season 鈥?or even the previous year 鈥?more than the Cleveland Browns.

They get a chance to prove all of those offseason maneuvers paid off when they host their archrivals, the Steelers, on Sunday.

No, it's not fair to fully judge Cleveland's progress in the opener. It is tempting, though, considering how the roster has been revamped and the enthusiasm has been ramped up.

"Honestly, I would rather not look back," says Browns coach Hue Jackson, and why would he with a 1-31 record in charge? "I just feel really good about this group. We have to get ourselves ready to play. It is a big-time game this week. This is against the best team in our division. It is a huge game."

It also doesn't hurt the Browns that Pittsburgh has been missing one of its best players, star running back and holdout Le'Veon Bell.

Still, as Jackson notes Jonathan Huberdeau Jersey , the Steelers have been the cream of the AFC North for a long time, while the Browns have been the downtrodden.

Regardless of Bell's status 鈥?James Conner is the backup 鈥?the Steelers have a dynamic offense thanks to receiver Antonio Brown, perhaps the NFL's best player; quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, still a force in his 15th pro season; and a talented offensive line.

"If we start off with James, I think we'll be fine either way," guard Ramon Foster says. "He's a guy that's made strides. He's made us confident in him. So he gets the start, we roll with him. No disrespect to (Bell), we've got to move. This is a moving train."

The season opened Thursday night when the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles got past the Atlanta Falcons 18-12 in a sloppy, penalty-filled game.

Jay Ajayi scored his second touchdown on an 11-yard run with 2:19 remaining, and the Eagles withstood a two-minute drive by Matt Ryan and the Falcons, with Julio Jones failing to come down with Ryan's high pass on the final play from the 5-yard line.

The game was marred by penalties, dropped passes, missed assignments and weak quarterbacking. Foles threw for 117 yards and an interception, and Ryan completed less than 50 percent of his passes. Neither threw for a touchdown.

San Francisco at Minnesota

Yes, quarterbacks get too much attention these days. Still, this is one game where they have to be the focal point.

The Vikings spent about the entire budget of the state of Minnesota on Kirk Cousins after he played two seasons under the franchise tag in Washington. So while the return of rookie sensation (until he hurt his knee) Dalvin Cook to the backfield is quite intriguing, most eyes will be on how Cousins fares with far more talent around him.

San Francisco was in QB purgatory a year ago, then pulled off an October deal for Jimmy Garoppolo. The youngster who hasn't lost in seven career starts, got a huge contract Aleksander Barkov Jersey , too. He'll face one of the NFL's toughest defenses in this one.

New York Jets at Detroit, Monday night

OK, excuse us if, one more time, we concentrate on the quarterback. This one is Sam Darnold , the only member of the five first-round passers in this year's draft who will get a start. He has poise, lots of arm talent and escapability.

Of course, he's also a J-E-T-S QB; the last true franchise guy they had was Joe Namath.

"I know that just because I got named the starter doesn't mean we won the game Monday night," the Southern Cal product says. "It's awesome and I'm really happy to be the starting quarterback, but I also know that I've got to go out there and do my job."

He'll try to do it against new Lions coach Matt Patricia's defensive acumen. Patricia comes from New England, so the pedigree is impressive.

Los Angeles Rams at Oakland, Monday night

Another 2018 newcomer 鈥?actually a returning megastar 鈥?is Raiders coach Jon Gruden. Enticed out of the ESPN broadcast booth, given full reign in Oakland along with major money, Gruden already has flexed his power by trading away the Raiders' best player, pass rusher supreme Khalil Mack .

That probably won't temper the rabidness in the Black Hole for the opener. What might is a Rams club with perhaps the most talented roster in the NFL, led by DT Aaron Donald and RB Todd Gurley.

Cincinnati at Indianapolis

Another key returnee (and, yeah, a QB) is Andrew Luck for the Colts. A shoulder injury that some claim was misdiagnosed, others say was mishandled Youth Christian Djoos Jersey , sidelined him for all of 2017. When healthy, he is elite, although the roster under new coach Frank Reich appears anything but.

Cincinnati brought back Marvin Lewis, the second-longest tenured coach in the NFL, and also re-signed its top two defenders, Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins. They'll try to wreak havoc on Luck.

Tennessee at Miami

Mike Vrabel won three Super Bowls as a linebacker and sometime TD-catching receiver. He takes over a Titans squad that made the playoffs and upset Kansas City last winter, and seeks to build on such success in the rugged AFC South. Look for RB Derrick Henry to be the workhorse on offense and CB Malcolm Butler trying to show he deserved to play for the Patriots in their Super Bowl loss to Philadelphia.

The Dolphins' season could depend on how much Frank Gore has left as a ball carrier. Gore is closing in on fourth place on the career rushing list, seemingly Hall of Fame credentials.

Washington at Arizona

Like Patricia and, to a lighter extent Vrabel, new Cardinals coach Steve Wilks made his reputation as a defensive coordinator with Carolina. One thing for sure, he will have the Cardinals playing a more physical style than in recent seasons. On offense, he gets back fantasy football go-to David Johnson at running back.

With the Cousins years over, Alex Smith was acquired and will make few mistakes at quarterback. He doesn't have a ton to work with, unless recently signed Adrian Peterson still excels. Don't bet against Peterson.

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Postautor: hongwei28 » 28 wrz 2018, 07:32

Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy fears defenseman Brandon Carlo could miss significant time after being taken off the ice on a stretcher with a left leg injury.

Cassidy said Sunday that the swelling hasn’t gone down enough to make a definitive diagnosis Troy Brouwer Jersey , but added ”it’s probably not going to be good news.” Carlo was hurt Saturday when he landed awkwardly on his leg in the third period of a 5-1 win over Florida .

”You feel awful,” Torey Krug said of his defensive partner. ”It’s a tough break, but I know he’s got a lot of support and a lot of good people around him.”

The short-handed Bruins did get defenseman Zdeno Chara back for Sunday’s game at Philadelphia after a nine-game absence because of an upper-body injury. Chara was paired with Nick Holden Authentic Marcus Johansson Jersey , who moved to the right side.

Krug played with Adam McQuaid.

Center Riley Nash didn’t travel a day after needing more than 40 stitches in his ear, head and neck after getting hit with a puck during the game against the Panthers. He could rejoin the team for games in Tampa Bay and Florida this week.

Cassidy said defenseman Charlie McAvoy skated Sunday morning and could return Tuesday. He’s been sidelined 14 games with a sprained left knee ligament.

The Bruins also are hoping forward Rick Nash (upper body) could return this week.

Despite a long list of injuries all season, the Bruins entered Sunday atop the Eastern Conference with 109 points.

”When you think you’re finally maybe turning the corner Michael Del Zotto Jersey , but I guess this is just how we’re going to be,” Cassidy said. ”It’s become a bit of our fight song, so to speak.”



The Oakland Raiders are trading star kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson to the New England Patriots.

A person familiar with the deal said Sunday that the deal will become official after Patterson passes a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced. Pardon My Take first reported the trade.

NFL Network reported that Oakland will receive a fifth-round pick in the deal and send one of its six sixth-round picks to New England.

Patterson is one of the most accomplished kickoff returners in the game. His career average of 30.2 yards per return ranks second all-time to Hall of Famer Gale Sayers' 30.6 mark.

Patterson spent one year in Oakland after playing four seasons in Minnesota. The Vikings originally acquired Patterson with the 29th pick in the 2013 draft after trading up with the Patriots.

Patterson has played receiver throughout his career Riley Nash Jersey , but has made his biggest impact as a returner where he has scored five touchdowns and has always helped create good field position for his teams.

The Raiders had the best average starting field position after kickoffs last season in the NFL, while the Patriots ranked fourth.

That speed has been less effective as a receiver where Patterson has averaged only 10 yards per catch in his career as he has been mostly used on screens and short passes.

Patterson caught 31 passes for 309 yards last season for Oakland and also ran for 121 yards on 13 carries for three scores.

For his career, Patterson has 163 catches for 1 Thomas Vanek Jersey ,625 yards and seven touchdowns to go along with 44 carries for 454 yards and six scores.

The Raiders have made some moves at receiver this offseason under new coach Jon Gruden. Jordy Nelson was signed last week to be a starter alongside Amari Cooper, leading to the decision to let Michael Crabtree go.

Oakland also signed Griff Whalen for depth at returner and receiver and is reportedly interested in former Washington receiver Ryan Grant as a potential free agent addition.

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Postautor: hongwei28 » 28 wrz 2018, 07:37

CLEVELAND (AP) — Baker Mayfield played on a big stage at Oklahoma Victor Hedman Jersey , so he’s not scared of stepping onto football’s biggest one.

The Browns rookie quarterback — and perhaps their QB of the future — will make his NFL exhibition debut Thursday night as Cleveland visits the New York Giants in a game that will feature the top two overall picks in this year’s draft: Mayfield and Giants running back Saquon Barkley.

Almost from the time he first picked up a football, the Heisman Trophy winner has been looking forward to his first game action as a pro. But he won’t let that thrill overwhelm him.

“Played this game for a long time, I don’t get nervous,” said Mayfield, currently No. 2 on Cleveland’s depth chart behind Tyrod Taylor. “So I’m going to say I’m not going to have to worry about that part. Anytime I get the chance to play ball, yeah, I get excited, but however much I play I’ve got to take advantage of the opportunity, that’s for sure.”

Coach Hue Jackson want to play Mayfield two quarters, sending him in after Taylor gets in some work leading Cleveland’s first-team offense for a series or two.

The Browns’ plan — at this point — is to have Mayfield spend the season watching and learning behind Taylor, who led Buffalo to the playoffs last season and has quickly established himself as a leader in Cleveland.

Mayfield understands he has to be patient, and while waiting for his turn he’s had an impressive training camp. He releases the ball quickly and accurately, and Mayfield seems to have a solid grasp of coordinator Todd Haley’s offense.

But although Jackson said Mayfield has exceeded expectations, he’s committed to opening the season with Taylor behind center.

“We are going to grow our quarterbacks,” Jackson said last week. “Tyrod Taylor is our quarterback. Baker Mayfield is competing and getting better each and every day, still learning the National Football League. Has done a really nice job of learning our system and improving every day.”

The 23-year-old Mayfield showed poise during an intrasquad scrimmage last week. He led Cleveland’s backups on an opening touchdown drive, but later struggled in the red zone against Cleveland’s starting defense and also threw his first interception of camp.

He knows the tempo and intensity will be even higher against the Giants.

“When you get the energy level up Jake Dotchin Jersey , you’ve got to be able to execute, so that’s why I’m excited about Thursday as well,” he said. “You get people hyped up, you actually get some contact in and you can focus in and do your job when there are distractions around, so I think we handled the first one pretty well, but it definitely can go a lot better.”

Although he became a major college star, Mayfield had to fight every step of the way. He was a walk-on at Texas Tech and with the Sooners, and Mayfield feels those experiences prepared him to handle not starting now.

He’s a backup, and Mayfield is making the most of being one.

“Whenever I got to Texas Tech I wasn’t given an opportunity to get out there, as well, then when I got to OU, I was on scout team,” he said. “It’s how I’ve always handled it, whatever opportunity I get, to make sure I get better I need to take advantage of that. So right now that’s doing second-team reps, or that’s even translating now doing some card offense, scout-team stuff. Whatever I can do to learn and keep getting reps Tyler Toffoli Jersey , that’s the best thing.”

Jarvis Landry has heard the horror stories. Since being traded by the Miami Dolphins to the Browns in March, he's been schooled on the misery, heartache and pain endured during a 0-16 season in Cleveland.

Landry's sympathetic 鈥?to a point.

"I wasn't part of that," the three-time Pro Bowl receiver said during training camp. "I didn't have nothing to do with what happened here. I can't take that on my back."

Landry was lucky, because anyone who lived through last season in Cleveland bears permanent scars.

However, thanks to an extreme roster overhaul orchestrated by new general manager John Dorsey, who previously revived the Kansas City Chiefs, there's reason to think the Browns will not only be better than a year ago 鈥?they can't do any worse 鈥?but they'll contend in the AFC North.

For real.

"This team is headed in the right direction, for sure," said former Buffalo quarterback Tyrod Taylor, another of Cleveland's talented new additions. "The attitude is right. The energy is right in the locker room. We just have to remain focused throughout the full season and be able to withstand the ups and downs."

There were no ups last season when the Browns joined the 2008 Detroit Lions in ignominy as the only teams to whiff on a 16-game schedule. That calamity came after the Browns went 1-15 in coach Hue Jackson's first season.

Yet despite his 1-31 mark, Jackson survived. Owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam pardoned him and are giving the fourth coach they've had since taking over in 2012, a third season to awaken one of the league's most storied franchises.

Jackson's role is more CEO than coach this season after handing off the offense to former Steelers coordinator Todd Haley, who will call plays and try to get the most out of Taylor, a talented receiving group and three-back rotation featuring the versatile Duke Johnson.

The Browns have spent most of the past 20 years looking for a franchise quarterback, and the team feels they've found one in Baker Mayfield, the Heisman Trophy winner drafted No. 1 overall.

Mayfield Nikita Kucherov Jersey , though, will begin the season backing up Taylor, who guided the Bills to the playoffs last season but is being viewed 鈥?at least for now 鈥?by the Browns as a place-holder.

In the meantime, Taylor's work ethic and positive attitude is influencing teammates who are starting to believe the bad days are behind the Browns.

Linebacker Christian Kirksey predicts Cleveland will make the playoffs.

"When I really feel something, I'm going to say it," Kirksey said. "I'm confident in these guys. I'm a firm believer in if I put it out there, it begins to exist. I know a lot of people will say, 'You haven't won a game, this and that.' I really believe we're destined to win a lot of games."

Here are some things to watch with the Browns this season:

END GAME

Myles Garrett may be on the verge of superstardom. The second-year defensive end missed four games as a rookie with a severely sprained ankle that never got completely healed. He still finished with seven sacks in 11 games, and the former top pick could double that total this season.

Garrett is quick, explosive and strong. And don't be fooled that he's soft-spoken or enjoys writing poems. The dude is nasty.

HOT SEAT

Make no mistake, Jackson needs to win. He's been given a pass because of previous mistakes made by the front office during the Browns' rebuild. Now, Jackson has to show he can develop talent, manage games and produce victories. He's running out of time. The Haslams have been supportive, but their backing could erode quickly if Cleveland doesn't show major improvement in the first few weeks.

FLASHBACK

Supremely talented, sadly troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon is back after missing training camp to work on his health. The former Pro Bowler is out of second chances with the NFL following numerous suspensions, and if the 27-year-old is going to revive his career Phil Kessel Jersey , it has to start this season.

Gordon's speed stretches defenses, forcing them to respect the Browns' deep passing game and creates openings elsewhere on the field. Gordon can make Landry, a three-time Pro Bowler, even more dangerous 鈥?and vice versa.

BIG CLEATS TO FILL

Joel Bitonio didn't want to do it, but the Browns slid the standout guard into Joe Thomas' old spot at left tackle during camp. Thomas retired following 10 Pro Bowl seasons, leaving the Browns to address a position they didn't have to worry about for a decade. Bitonio played some tackle at Nevada and while he's not built like the prototypical end blocker, he'll hold his own.

Trouble is, by moving Bitonio the Browns may have weakened two spots. Rookie Austin Corbett has replaced Bitonio at left guard.

HOLD ON

Turnovers were a major reason for the Browns' ruinous season. Not only did they commit a league-high 41 (28 interceptions, 13 fumbles), but Cleveland forced just 13 takeaways (seven INTs, six fumbles), the league's fewest.

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