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10 local storylines to follow in this year’s NFL training ca

Postby Angel92 » Jul 22nd, '17, 07:07

Each year, training camp and preseason play are proving grounds for thousands of young NFL players trying to earn more playing time and a tune-up for veterans looking to build on their careers.
This year, 93 players with Utah ties will be headed to NFL training camps over the next several days. From veterans to rookies alike, there is something to prove.
While the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys kick off their training camps this weekend — the two teams play in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 3 — the bulk of teams will have their veterans report between July 25 and July 29, signaling the start of training camps league-wide.
Here’s a look at 10 local storylines to follow with NFL training camps set to kick off.
Will Mays, Williams break into the RB rotation in Green Bay?
One of the more interesting running back battles to watch in this year’s NFL training camps will take place in Green Bay and include BYU’s all-time leading rusher, Jamaal Williams, and former Utah State bruiser Devante Mays.
The Packers already have stated Ty Montgomery is the starter at running back, but for Williams and Mays, there will be a chance to prove they deserve playing time, whether as a third-down back, in passing situations or simply spelling Montgomery.
Of the six backs on the Packers’ roster, five are rookies, including three 2017 draft picks: Williams (fourth round), UTEP’s Aaron Jones (fifth) and Mays (seventh). Green Bay also has experienced fullback Aaron Ripkowski on its roster. This should lend itself to a highly entertaining battle for roster spots throughout camp and in preseason play.
"You’ve been dreaming about it for so long and now you finally make it, now you’ve got to keep going forward. Just have fun, work hard and hopefully you get the milestones," Williams told the La Crosse Tribune.
Will Utah’s rookie linemen be starting Year 1?
The Utes had a program-high eight players taken in this year’s NFL draft, and four of those were offensive linemen. Most if not all of them could be in line for playing time as a rookie.
The biggest name among them is Garett Bolles, the first-round pick by the Denver Broncos. He’s already received first-team reps at left tackle, according to the Denver Post, and could be a Day 1 starter in the league. “He’s made a lot of progress. It’s a tough spot to play as a rookie, and it takes a lot of football IQ to play that spot in the NFL," Broncos coach Vance Joseph told the Post.
Isaac Asiata, a fifth-round selection by Miami, is also in contention for early playing time at guard for the Dolphins. USA Today’s Draftwire listed Asiata as the team’s surprise rookie starter at left guard.
Center J.J. Dielman, a fifth-round selection by the Cincinnati Bengals, and tackle Sam Tevi, a six-round pick by the Los Angeles Chargers, will also be looking to make strong impressions in training camp.
Will an undrafted player make the 53-man roster?
There are 25 local rookies who signed as undrafted free agents this offseason and are currently on an NFL roster. That is a higher number than normal — 12 higher than last year — giving plenty of first-year locals a chance to earn a spot either on the 53-man roster or a practice squad. That also likely means there will be more guys hearing their names during final cuts before the regular season.
Among the intriguing options this year to go from undrafted to the 53-man roster are New England linebacker Harvey Langi (BYU, Bingham High), Cleveland safety Kai Nacua (BYU), Jacksonville defensive end Hunter Dimick (Utah, Syracuse High), Detroit safety Josh Thornton (Southern Utah) and Arizona linebacker Tre'von Johnson (Weber State, Hunter High), among others.
One particular storyline worth Lamar Miller Womens Jersey following is that of former BYU cornerback Michael Davis, who signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Los Angeles Chargers and earned first-team reps in organized team activities, in part due to injuries and opportunities opening up, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I think training camp will be big, just to see how far he comes with it,” Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley told the Times.
Which locals could take on more prominent roles this year?
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Bengals cornerback Adam

Postby Angel92 » Jul 22nd, '17, 08:01

Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones has been suspended for the regular-season opening game after his role in an altercation at a downtown Cincinnati hotel earlier this year.
Jones pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge from the January incident, the latest in a history of off-the-field legal issues for the NFL veteran. The NFL says the suspension was for a violation of its personal conduct policy. Police said Jones kicked and used head-butting as he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a hotel employee.
The 33-year-old has a history of off-the-field incidents, including one that almost ended his career. He was suspended without pay by the league for the 2007 season after an incident in a Las Vegas nightclub resulted in a man being paralyzed. Jones was later ordered to pay $12 million in damages to the victim . . .
NFL offensive lineman Michael Oher, who faces misdemeanor charges of assaulting an Uber driver, has been sued in connection with the April 14 incident. Oher was released by the Carolina Panthers on Thursday after he failed a physical. . . .
The Panthers signed two-time Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner to a four-year contract extension. He is the first player to receive a contract extension from new interim general manager Marty Hurney. . . .
The Arizona Cardinals placed starting inside linebacker Deone Bucannon on the physically unable to perform list. Bucannon had ankle surgery in May and has led the team in tackles each of the last two seasons. . . .
The Chiefs signed quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a four-year rookie contract. Kansas City traded its first- and third-round picks this year and its first-round pick next year to the Buffalo Bills to grab the Texas Tech quarterback with the 10th overall selection. . . .
The New York Jets signed safety Jamal Adams of LSU, the sixth overall pick in the draft. Adams gets a four-year deal worth about $22 million.
NHL: Red Wings sign Tatar
The Detroit Red Wings agreed to terms with winger Tomas Tatar on a $21.2 million, four-year contract. The 26-year-old Czech led Detroit with 25 goals last season and also had 21 assists. . . .
Chicago Blackhawks forward Tommy Wingels broke his left foot during offseason training, but is expected to be ready for training camp, the team announced.
Golf: Collins fires a 60
Chad Collins missed a chance for the 10th sub-60 round in PGA Tour history, parring the final two holes for an 11-under 60 in the second Phil McConkey Youth Jersey round of the Barbasol Championship in Opelika, Ala. Collins was at 15-under 127 for a 4-stroke lead over Grayson Murray and Cameron Tringale. . . .
Gerina Piller followed her opening 8-under 63 with a 68 to maintain a 1-stroke in the Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio.
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What a broadcaster! Bob Wolff had fun and was a joy to fans

Postby Angel92 » Jul 22nd, '17, 08:45

“Pull up a chair,” Vin Scully would say, and so the world did for two-thirds of a century. But his signature phrase suggested a master storyteller inviting an audience to have a listen.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, in Scully’s case. But consider a guy who had an even longer career but received less national acclaim — and on whose seventh birthday Scully was born.
Bob Wolff rarely is mentioned among the greatest of play-by-play men, despite a resume as long and as rich as any of them. Longer, actually, having begun in 1939, when Scully was 11 and TV still was an experiment.
But for the generations that grew up with him, especially Washington Senators fans of the 1950s and Knicks fans of the championship era, he was something rare and valuable: a friendly, familiar voice seemingly as happy to be there as we were.
That is what most announcers aim for. Curt Gowdy used to say he would pretend to be sitting in the stands with a friend, poking him in the ribs to punctuate an exciting happening in the game.
The best achieve that goal, to a point, but years sitting in comfy booths, collecting generous paychecks and been-there, done-that jadedness often take a toll on celebrity media people.
Wolff, who died July 15 at age 96, never lost his youthful, fan-centric enthusiasm. Hence his determination to keep working until earlier this year, as an essayist for News 12 Long Island.
As he put it to me in October, “I enjoy it. If I didn’t do it, what would I do to have fun?”
There you have it: Sports are supposed to be fun, and Wolff never lost sight of that, even as he never stopped being a hard-working, well-prepared pro.
He is best known for his calls of two iconic events: Don Larsen’s perfect game for the Yankees in the 1956 World Series and the 1958 NFL Championship Game between the Colts and Giants.
But New Yorkers remember smaller stages. Like one of his favorites: the Knicks’ comeback from down 20 points against the Bucks in November of 1972, in which they scored the final 19.
Check out Wolff’s excited call on YouTube, including what everyone watching was thinking: “What a ballgame!”
About that interview last fall: It mostly was about Scully’s retirement and the 60th anniversary of the Larsen game. Thirty minutes into it, I thanked Johnny Bench Youth Jersey Bob and told him people would enjoy reading what he had to say.
“That was an interview?” he said.
Well, yes, that was the idea. Wolff thought I simply had called — interrupting dinner — merely to chat, and he was happy to do so. He invited me call again anytime, interview or no interview.
That was Wolff, a gentleman and a gentle man.
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Odell Beckham Jr. Responds to Pleas to Meet Fan Battling

Postby Angel92 » Jul 24th, '17, 01:54

Odell Beckham Jr. is trying to make a young fan’s wish come true.
The New York Giants star responded on Twitter to pleas to meet with Jayro Ponce, a 9-year-old boy battling cancer who names Beckham Jr. as his favorite football player.
“Jayro is a fighter,hero,and loved by many!” radio host Tommy Joe of The Hacker Morning Show wrote on Facebook Monday. “As we all know he is battling cancer…With the power of God,Miracles, Radio, and Social Media I think we can make this little guy smile at this point in his life. His dream is to meet New York Giants Odell Beckham. PLEASE help me try to make this happen. Jayro is in pain, and maybe we can make this 1 dream happen…”
The host shared a special message from Jayro’s family to Beckham Jr.
“We hope you see this and can find it within your heart to reach out to this young man who is battling for his life, and is now at the Ronald McDonald House in Amarillo, Texas,” he said. “His name is Jayro and is a hero to many of us here in Amarillo, but Odell Beckham you are a hero to Jayro. Can you please reach out to Jayro and fulfill one of his dreams. Thank You from everyone here in Amarillo,Texas!”
Danny Richburg, father of fellow New York Giants player Weston Richburg, also shared the message on Twitter, to which the athlete responded on Tuesday morning.
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Former VCU big man Justin Tuoyo joins Ram Nation

Postby Angel92 » Jul 24th, '17, 03:04

With forward Romeo Travis getting married this weekend, Ram Nation needed another big man for its round of 16 game in The Basketball Tournament.
Adding a player for this round costs $3,000, according to tournament rules. Ram Nation raised the money through donations in less than 24 hours and brought aboard 6-foot-9 Justin Tuoyo.
Tuoyo, who spent one season at VCU before transferring to Chattanooga, just finished his career with the Mocs as a three-time defensive player of the year in the Southern Conference.
“We needed another person to defend the paint and rebound,” said Ram Nation guard Brandon Rozzell.
Ram Nation, a group of mostly VCU alumni, has had a few changes since putting together its roster for the tournament, which features a $2 million prize for the winner.
Former James Madison big man Denzel Bowles didn’t show for the first two games in Charlotte and has been dropped from the roster. Former VCU forward Juvonte Reddic pulled out early because of a knee issue.
Reddic was replaced by former VCU and NBA center Larry Sanders as Ram Nation advanced by beating Showtime 82-80 and Primetime Players 96-82.
Former VCU guard Jesse Pellot-Rosa, who had been playing in Puerto Rico, missed the first two games after this flight was delayed. He’s expected to be on hand when Ram Nation plays N.C. Prodigal Sons on Friday at 7 p.m. at Long Island University in New York. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
The single-elimination tournament is heavy on overseas pros and former NBA and college players. Ram Nation has three players with significant NBA experience: Sanders, point guard Eric Maynor (VCU) and forward Reggie Williams (VMI, Prince George).
Forward Jamie Skeen had 25 points and hit a last-second jumper in the first game. Williams had 19 points and Rozzell 16.
Maynor had 28 points, eight assists and nine rebounds in the second game. Rozzell had 19 points and Skeen added 14. The 6-11 Sanders scored 8 points and blocked nine shots in 29 minutes combined in the two games. He and Tuoyo give Ram Nation two top shot-blockers.
Ram Nation trailed N.C. Prodigal Sons by 15 at halftime in the opening round last year. It came back to win 85-80.
“We know they’re going to come out Gary Sanchez Youth Jersey pumped up,” said Rozzell. “It’s going to be a good game for us. It’s going to be physical. I think if we come out and stay focused and do what we do, we’ll be fine.”
If it wins, Ram Nation may get another shot at two-time defending champion Overseas Elite, which has never been beaten (15-0).
Elite plays Tampa Bulls on the other side of the South Region bracket. If Ram Nation and Elite win, they will play on Sunday. Elite eliminated Ram Nation 91-80 last year in the round of 16.
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Sanders teaching hoops, life at clinic

Postby Angel92 » Jul 24th, '17, 03:47

LIBERTY — At a time when violence and wrongdoing are widespread, it’s reassuring to know of those people who make it their life mission to foster peace and harmony, in this case through the game of basketball.
Sam Sanders will host his second annual Rising Stars Basketball Clinic at the United Methodist Church of Liberty Gymnasium from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday. It is open to kids of all ages to learn the fundamentals of basketball and critical tips on how to achieve your dreams. The fee for the clinic is $7, with signups at the door.
Sanders speaks from experience. He was a former standout basketball player at Liberty High School, twice winning the Ivan Richards most valuable player award given to Liberty’s top player. Sanders went on to play for Division II Mansfield College and averaged 43 points a game in a semi-pro league soon after his college career ended.
Soon after, Sanders was faced with a critical decision to play for a professional team in Australia (coached by former Australian player Reggie Biddings), but opted to stay in New York to work in the recreation department at a local corrections facility and continue to be a father to his daughter Shania.
“The reality of the NBA is certainly in reach for everyone, but in order to achieve your goals, you have to work hard, keep a focused mindset, and make good decisions,” Sanders said. “I want to teach as many kids as possible that if you work hard, you can achieve anything you want.″
The clinic is also aimed at focusing on uniting communities. “One similarity between different races and cultures is that we’re all people,″ Sanders said. “We all deserve to be treated fairly, and that includes law enforcement.”
Officers from the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department and the Fallsburg Police Department will be on hand to teach the youth Wes Horton Authentic Jersey the importance of community involvement while having fun on the basketball court.
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Alabama Roots: Who's where as NFL opens training camps

Postby Angel92 » Jul 24th, '17, 06:14

The Arizona Cardinals become the first NFL team to bring their full roster to training camp on Friday. Six teams already have had their rookies report, but the Cardinals have the earliest reporting date for veterans, starting an eight-day period during which all 32 NFL training camps will open.
The Cardinals' roster includes four players with Alabama football roots, including linebacker Karlos Dansby, the dean of the current NFL players from the state's high schools and colleges. The former Woodlawn High School and Auburn standout has played in 196 NFL regular-season games since entering the league in 2004.
The four Cardinals are among the 166 players with Alabama football roots on NFL active rosters as training camps open.
The Cincinnati Bengals with 10 and the Baltimore Ravens with nine have the most alumni of the state's high schools and colleges. The Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings have one apiece.
The Alabama players come from 13 colleges and 63 high schools in the state.
Daphne High School has four players on current NFL rosters, and Foley, Hueytown and Oxford have three apiece.
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Ron Rivera on Panthers' 2016 season: 'It didn’t happen to us

Postby Angel92 » Jul 24th, '17, 07:07

Everyone has a rough year from time to time, even some of the best NFL teams. The question is how you respond to it. Do you learn from it and get better, or do you let it drag you down?
As for Panthers coach Ron Rivera, he thinks Carolina’s dismal 2016 season was a great learning experience for his team.
Speaking in an interview with Albert Breer at MMQB, Rivera shared a personal story about how to respond to tragedy:
It remains to be seen whether the Panthers actually will grow from the experience. One thing is clear: the team did realize they needed to change the way they protect their franchise quarterback.
This year’s draft class includes three promising pieces that should all make Cam Newton’s life easier. Christian McCaffrey is an all-purpose back who will provide an excellent check-down option and legitimate receiving threat. Curtis Samuel can line up in the slot or run out of the backfield, and Taylor Moton will help keep edge rushers off Newton’s back.
If they all work out as planned, the harsh lessons of 2016 may all be worth it in the long run.
Rivera also talked about Dave Gettleman’s sudden exit and re-uniting with interim general manager Marty Hurney. You can read more here.
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Marty Speaks – Panthers could be over the cap in 2018?

Postby Angel92 » Jul 24th, '17, 08:05

The biggest concern Carolina Panthers fans have over rehiring Marty Hurney as interim general manager is salary cap management. Now, for the first time, we are hearing that in 2018 the Panthers could be over the salary cap. Did Hurney just tip his hat to more moves on the way? Could be. This information comes from Chuck Howard who interviewed Marty Hurney recently.
“Well it’s funny, cause I cam in yesterday and I had a short meeting about the salary cap and found out we may be over in 18” Hurney said. “I said oh great, thanks a lot, I’m not even here yet and it’s going to come back.”
According to Over the Cap, the Panthers look to be 20 million under the salary cap in 2018. This calculation does not account for the Trai Turner signing. Still, even with the Turner extension, the Panthers should be comfortably below the salary cap. Unless, of course, more contract moves are in the pipeline.
Should the Carolina Panthers attempt to extend Thomas Davis, Greg Olsen, and Andrew Norwell that extra camp room would quickly disappear. All three of these players play very important roles and deserve to be extended ASAP. The bad news? Doing so now would limit the Carolina Panthers ability to sign future free agents like Kelvin Benjamin and Star Lotulelei. Take from Peter to pay Paul, such is the way of salary cap management.
Tough decisions will need to be made very soon, well within Hurney’s interim role as general manager. Below is a video of the Hurney interview.
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How ex-Yankee Derek Jeter inspired Mets' Curtis Granderson

Postby Angel92 » Jul 24th, '17, 08:46

NEW YORK -- Curtis Granderson rode a Citi bike to the New York Public Library on Friday, and while it might not seem like much to an outsider watching him ride, the act was symbolic to the Mets outfielder.
So many kids -- too many kids, if you ask Granderson -- don't have the same educational opportunities as others. The library represents education for everyone, which is what Granderson has been working to provide through his Grand Kids Foundation. The veteran outfielder rode to the library to bring awareness to his foundation and celebrate its 10-year anniversary.
What started as a basketball game at a gym in Michigan has grow to be a program that benefits kids all over the country and has even earned Granderson a nomination for ESPN's Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award.
Credit his parents, who are both teachers in Chicago, for the notion that education can help put a child on the right path and keep them there, and former Yankees teammate Derek Jeter for inspiring him to keep growing the foundation.
"I think a lot of people wanted to know why I chose education. Why not choose something publicly bigger?" He said. "But with the graduation rates in Detroit being as low as they were, and with my parents and sister being educators and me having gone back and gotten my degree, education was something very important to me."
Granderson has never been shy about his desire to bring baseball to the inner cities and the politics that come along with that. But baseball is only a small part of what Grand Kids is all about.
"It's tied into fitness and nutrition because all of that is tied into the day as a student," Granderson said. "Baseball is one of the different activities that kids and youth can be a part of."
Ten years ago, Granderson had pie-in-the-sky dreams of making the foundation as big as Jeter's Turn 2 program. He wasn't sure that his first event, a basketball game at a Detroit area gym, would be enough.
Several Michigan celebrities showed up for the event, starting with his former teammate Dontrelle Willis, and by the end of the day they had more attention than Granderson thought possible after TMZ posted a video of Braylon Edwards making free throws.
"The Turn 2 Foundation, I'm seeing that going, 'Wow, they're raising all of this money and they've got all of these big galas and I want that Pete Rose Youth Jersey today," Granderson said. "The passion that I had, I wanted everybody to feel that. I wanted to be able to do things and bring in the numbers. It's not that we weren't getting the attention and it's not that we weren't getting people to come. But the dollars like that take some time.
"And even without the dollar amount, the impact can still be there."
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