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The best Bears player to ever wear No. 49

Postby Angel92 » Aug 9th, '17, 05:58

In this "best play to wear" series it has typically been easy to find a handful of solid candidates for each number. With that said, the No. 49 for the Chicago Bears may be the hardest one yet.
In the past players such as Anthony Walters, Winston Venable, Donald Jordan, Marc Edwards, Major Hazelton and Charlie Bivins have all worn the number, but this competition comes down to Sam Acho and David Tate.
A fourth-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2011, Acho spent four seasons in the NFC West before joining the Bears in 2015. He has been used both as a starter at outside linebacker and on special teams during his time in Chicago. He has made at least four starts in each of the last three seasons and has recorded 40 tackles, one sack, two pass deflections and two forced fumbles in 31 games with 13 starts.
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Tate was an eighth-round pick of the Bears in 1998 out of Chicago and spent five seasons with the Bears. During that stretch of time he appeared in 78 games with 12 starts. He ended his Bears career with 238 tackles, one fumble recovery and seven interceptions.
Verdict: While neither Acho nor Tate are household names, but have made an impact on the Bears organization. While Acho offers the team Tony Moeaki Kids Jersey a lot currently with his versatility, Tate's ability to take the football away during his time with the Bears helped him earn the title of the best Bears player to ever wear the No. 49.
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Alterraun Verner sees a “playoff team” in Miami

Postby Angel92 » Aug 9th, '17, 06:59

The Miami Dolphins added Alterraun Verner to their squad shortly after putting linebacker Koa Misi on injured reserve.
Verner is an interesting talent. A former Pro-Bowl player with the Tennessee Titans, Verner left the Titans after four seasons and joined the Tampa Buccaneers as a free agent. Drafted in the 4th round of the 2010 draft, Verner has played well in his career but after joining the Buc’s his play quickly declined.
His first two seasons with the Buc’s didn’t go well but many believe that had more to do with him not fitting into the Lovie Smith scheme. Last season he improved considerably under Dirk Koetter. On Thursday, Verner practiced for the first time with his new team.
It’s assumed that Verner will compete with Bobby McCain primarily as the teams slot corner. Xavien Howard and Byron Maxwell have the outsides handled but McCain hasn’t stepped up to the level that the Dolphins had hoped to see. It’s a camp competition to keep an eye on for sure.
The Dolphins typically keep between six and eight corners depending on special teams needs. This includes both corners and safeties. Last season the Dolphins kept nine total including four safeties and five corners. This means that there will be a tight battle at the position this off-season. Keep an eye out later for a review of this camp battle.
Following yesterday’s practice Verner spoke with the media and answered their questions. He says he sees a “playoff team” in Miami but as has been speculated, can Miami repeat as a playoff team in 2017? Expectations are high.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
CB Alterraun Verner
(What was it about the Dolphins that you thought was a good opportunity for you?) – “One, a playoff team. They’ve been to the playoffs. It seems like they have a young nucleus and are building towards something. And just the atmosphere around here when I walked in – the competitiveness, the fire and everything. It just seemed like a good fit, a good time to compete and try to help out.”
(Had they reached out to you and your agent a while ago or was this just a recent thing where the first time you heard from them was in the last week or so?) – “I think they’ve been in communication. The first time I worked out was obviously when I did a couple of days ago. The rest just led to here.”
(Do you still think you’re the guy who was a Pro Bowl player three years ago? Those skills are still in you I assume, no?) – “No question. Things happen. I’m not here to put blame or excuses on anything; but yes, I’m only 28. If anything, I’m entering my prime and I’m better than what I was at that time. That’s the way I look at it. I got better and I definitely didn’t get worse.”
(How would you describe your on-field strengths? What are you best at?) – “I think just making plays on the ball. That’s something I’ve always taken pride in. Even in college, just getting my hands on the ball whether that’s getting an interception or batting a ball down, and just communicating and making tackles and things like that. I’ve always considered myself an all-around corner to do it all. To me, that’s my strength, that I can be used in so many ways and be effective for the team.”
(In Tampa, you were a standup guy in the locker room and always being a leader. What is that like to have a refreshing approach coming into this situation?) – “I guess with it being fresh – no pun intended – it’s just refreshing. It’s refreshing to have a clean slate again and work your way back up. I’ve been telling people, I feel like a rookie again, coming in here and just learning a new system, new playbook and new team. But it’s exciting. It’s exciting to get a helmet back on and just to do some football things. It’s more exciting and I’m ready to go.”
(What have you been told relative to opportunity to compete for a starting spot and all of that?) – “They just preach competition in all facets. They said just go out there and compete and then my play will speak for myself on John Miller Authentic Jersey where they’re going to put me. I think they’re going to use me in many different areas and wherever they put me at, that’s where I’m going to compete and try to work hard and see some snaps and get on the field. It’s definitely competition. I saw it from the first day today. Competition brings out the best in people and I experienced that all through my seven years (in the NFL).”
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Who are the playmakers on D?

Postby Angel92 » Aug 9th, '17, 08:06

The arrival of August will be greeted by the opening of the Missouri football team’s preseason camp. The Tigers will get started at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Fan day is set for 7 p.m. Saturday on Faurot Field.
Missouri will have 20 practice dates, with media availability on 13 of those dates.
Here are five story lines to monitor as camp unfolds.
Who are the playmakers on defense?
There aren’t many established forces on defense. Defensive end Marcell Frazier had a furious finish in the last three games of last season. He’ll be counted on to be a pass-rushing weapon, and Terry Beckner Jr. has shown he’s a playmaker when healthy, though he’s coming off his second knee surgery in as many seasons.
Otherwise, there’s a lot of mystery.
Defensive tackle Rashad Brandon, a junior college transfer, and hybrid linebacker/nickelback Kaleb Prewett, a Kansas State transfer, were as good as anyone during the spring.
The size of cornerback DeMarkus Acy, who is 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, makes him enticing from a physical standpoint.
Middle linebacker Eric Beisel was dependable in his five games of extended playing time following the injury to Michael Scherer last fall.
Defensive end Tre Williams has the combination of length and athleticism you want at that position, but the redshirt freshman hasn’t had a chance to prove himself in game action
This defense doesn’t feature a Charles Harris or Kentrell Brothers or Sean Weatherspoon -- veteran playmakers with an established track record.
Perhaps the freshness isn’t all bad, though, considering Missouri’s defense was woeful last season.
How do the new junior college additions look on the defensive line?
Many Tiger fans probably already have begun to get familiar with Brandon. As an early enrollee, he participated in spring camp, and he made five tackles in the Black & Gold Game.
Another junior college addition, defensive end Nate Anderson, enrolled this summer. As of last check, junior college signees Walter Palmore and Malik Young had not enrolled, but they’re expected to arrive before the season. Those defensive tackles were considered two of the biggest prizes in Missouri’s signing class, which also includes four freshmen defensive linemen.
Given the departure of Harris, the spring transfer of Spencer Williams, and the uncertain future of Nate Howard, who remains suspended while facing a Class D felony charge for possession of a controlled substance, there’s a gaping hole that needs filled opposite Frazier on the defensive line.
And the interior of the line could use some help, too, in support of Beckner, Brandon and senior A.J. Logan.
Which true freshman emerges as a potential star?
Last year, wide receiver Dimetrios Mason impressed his coaches throughout camp, and it wasn’t long before he was in the starting lineup opposite J’Mon Moore.
Barry Odom isn’t afraid to play a rookie if he proves his worth.
Center Case Cook is probably the most likely freshman candidate to emerge as a potential starter. And don’t be surprised if one of the freshman cornerbacks, Adam Sparks and Terry Petry, contend for a spot in the rotation.
Does Drew Lock look poised to become one of the SEC’s best quarterbacks?
Lock improved last year as a sophomore and showed off some of the talent that has many believing he’s a future NFL QB. With 20 career starts and a big arm, there’s a lot to like in Lock entering his junior season. But he must iron out the inconsistencies in his performance that proved costly in losses to Georgia and South Carolina. Lock also struggled mightily in blowout losses to LSU and Florida.
Lock’s overall numbers from his 2016 season look pretty good – a 54.6 percent completion rate, 3,399 yards, 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions – but take out games against Eastern Michigan and Delaware State, and it’s much Terence Newman Jersey more pedestrian: 51.8 percent completion, 2,547 yards, 13 TDs and 10 interceptions.
If Missouri is to have a hope of finishing in the top half of the East, it needs a more consistent year from Lock.
Have the drops been cured?
In fairness to Lock, he was plagued by too many drops by his wide receivers last season. That includes his top target, Moore, who knows he has to cut down on the miscues. Moore is Lock’s No. 1 weapon for good reason. He has good speed, gets separation down field and provides a sizable target on shorter passes. His 1,012 receiving yards ranked second in the SEC last season. Shoring up his hands is the final piece. It wasn’t just Moore, though. A more sure-handed year from Mason and Johnathon Johnson would help, too.
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Giants sign placekicker Mike Nugent to challenge Rosas

Postby Angel92 » Aug 9th, '17, 09:05

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The New York Giants have signed veteran Mike Nugent to challenge rookie Aldrick Rosas for their placekicking job.
The 35-year-old Nugent played the past seven seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. He made 23 of 29 on both his field goal and extra point attempts before being released on Dec. 13.
Rosas has never played in a regular-season game. His only NFL field goal attempt came in a preseason game with Tennessee last summer.
Josh Brown and Robbie Gould kicked for the Giants last season, with Gould taking over after Brown was released because of domestic violence problems.
Gould signed with the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent in the offseason.
Nugent also has played for the Jets, Tampa Bay and Arizona. He has made 236 of 292 field goal attempts and 344 of 355 extra points, scoring more than 100 points in a season six times.
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Bucs' Brent Grimes continues strong play

Postby Angel92 » Aug 10th, '17, 01:12

On Monday, that meant a late interception on a Jameis Winston pass intended for Mike Evans, and an impressive pass breakup on a deep ball to DeSean Jackson.
"Brent Grimes is good every day, but that play he made, knocking it away on the deep one, that was a fantastic play," coach Dirk Koetter said. "There's two of our best players (Grimes and Jackson) and that's what you're talking about when you're saying compete in practice to make each other better. That's making us better."
Koetter said even Winston learned from the play, as he isn't used to having a deep threat as fast as Jackson, and by not throwing it farther, he allowed Grimes to get back into the play and break it up.
"D-Jack had him beat, but Jameis hasn't had a guy that can run like that," Koetter said. "If Jameis puts that out there another five yards, that's a touchdown. Brent Grimes was beat by a step and made a superhuman effort to knock it away."
'Off the menu'
Three days after the excitement of Roberto Aguayo going 7-for-7 on kicks Friday, both he and challenger Nick Folk struggled to make any kicks with consistency.
Both kickers missed kicks wide on the skinny goalposts and the regular ones, with Aguayo getting one good kick at the end while Folk missed.
"Not too good. It's one day on, one day off," Koetter said. "Whatever they ate for breakfast today, off the menu. Because that wasn't it. … Neither one of them was very good today. It's simple process. Okay? You're a kicker in the NFL, inside 50 yards, you've got to make your kicks. I'm not being a hard-a-- or anything. That's just what it is in this league. They know it. I know it. Everyone here knows it."
Fight! Fight!
It's that time of training camp when players are asked if they're tired of beating up on each other and eager to finally face an opponent, as the Bucs will do Friday night at the Bengals in their preseason opener.
Monday's practice saw the first real scuffle of Bucs training camp, as cameras from WFLA caught DE Noah Spence throw a punch at rookie OT Cole Gardner, who was filling in as the second-team left tackle with Caleb Benenoch out with a minor injury. The video showed Gardner shoving Spence after the play, then Spence throws a punch at Gardner (still wearing a helmet) and Gardner returned with a punch of his own before players came in to separate them.
Thanks, coach
One day after former Bucs coach Greg Schiano said his current Ohio State defensive line is more talented than any he had in Tampa Bay, his former players had a chance to respond to the unexpected shot.
"I'm guessing it was to make his defensive line more confident, but it surprised me that he said it," said George Johnson, who was cut midway through Schiano's first season, rejoining the Bucs in 2015. "But, coming from Coach Schiano, it really didn't surprise me."
Johnson said he had respect for his 2012 linemates, including DT Gerald McCoy (five straight Pro Bowls) and DE Michael Bennett, who had nine sacks that season and has had 301/2 in the last four years since signing with Seattle.
"The fact is, they're still in college, trying to get to where we are," Johnson said. "You can't compare a college team to an NFL team. There's so many differences in talent. It's kind of hard to say that when we've got one guy in the Pro Bowl every year and another guy (Bennett) in the top 100."
McCoy also took the high road. "Everybody's entitled to their own opinion," he said. Will Gholston, a rookie under Schiano in 2013 and a Michigan State grad, said he just took the comments as Schiano trying to build up his current players, not knock his former players.
"Those are his guys now. You have to put as O.J. Simpson Youth Jersey much faith and courage into your guys, make them believe in themselves," he said. "Other than that, it's just his opinion. It doesn't matter."
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Ravens relying on 'Wink' Martindale's steady hand in develop

Postby Angel92 » Aug 10th, '17, 02:16

Ravens defensive line coach Joe Cullen’s raspy and unique pitch reverberates across the three fields behind the Under Armour Performance Center. When one of Chris Hewitt’s defensive backs makes a mistake, he pounces quickly and loudly. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees’ voice increases with intensity when he sees something he doesn’t like.
Linebackers coach Don “Wink” Martindale stands about 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage and a few paces to the right of the quarterback. His eyes covered by dark glasses and his salt-and-pepper hair flowing onto his wide neck and shoulders, Martindale is barely heard above the din of a Ravens training camp practice.
And that’s a good thing for the team’s linebackers.
“If Wink yells, that means he’s fed up, man,” former Ravens weak-side linebacker Zachary Orr said. “If Wink yells at you, you’re probably on the way out of the building. I remember only one time he really yelled at somebody and that guy wasn’t there the next week.”
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Bears put OLB Pernell McPhee (knee) on PUP list

Postby Angel92 » Aug 10th, '17, 03:17

BOURBONNAIS — In a late-night surprise, the Bears announced Wednesday that outside linebacker Pernell McPhee will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list. The cause, per the team: his knees.
It marks the second-straight year McPhee will start camp on the PUP list because of his knees. However, his addition to the list Wednesday night was a surprise. McPhee participated in offseason activities. Just a few hours earlier, on Wednesday, GM Ryan Pace expressed optimism the Bears would open camp without a single PUP member. Guard Kyle Long (ankle), linebacker Danny Trevathan (patellar tendon) and tight end Zach Miller (foot) had been candidates, but seemed to have checked out fine.
McPhee had lost 10 pounds between January and April to take pressure off his knees, and said at the time he looked “more sexier.”
The Bears held their physicals on Wednesday afternoon at Olivet Nazarene University, and will practice for the first time Thursday.
McPhee cannot practice but can go to meetings and be treated my medical staff. He can return as soon as the team deems him ready.
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Buccaneers Enter Dog Days of Camp

Postby Angel92 » Aug 10th, '17, 04:55

NFL training camps may not be quite as grueling as they used to be in the post-two-a-day era, but they're still a grind for the players, particularly in the Florida heat. There's no way to avoid the gradual buildup of monotony and fatigue.
Truly, the dog days of training camp have arrived at One Buccaneer Place. There is a solution, however, and it's right around the corner: Real live game action. The Buccaneers' preseason slate starts on Friday night in Cincinnati. The Bucs will practice once more on Wednesday and then head up to Ohio on Thursday.
"We've got to get ready to play real football here," said Head Coach Dirk Koetter after Tuesday's practice. "It's going to be good to play preseason football. We're at that point. Today was really that day where…today was the first day of training camp where we were just kind of dragging all day."
After a rainy opening week of camp, Week Two has brought the inevitable Florida heat and humidity to bear. Monday and Tuesday ranked as the two most sweltering practices of camp so far, which clearly took their toll on the players. The new week has also featured a crew of game officials, whose flags are helpful but also serve to underscore the players' mistakes. The Bucs have also started to encounter that other camp inevitability – injuries – though fortunately to a very minor degree. Center Ali Marpet and wide receiver Donteea Dye were two players held out on Tuesday due to minor ailments.
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Ryan Schraeder’s back on the field, Jack Crawford is not aft

Postby Angel92 » Aug 10th, '17, 06:14

The good news is that Ryan Schraeder appears to be fine after leaving the field yesterday, having suffered a cleating and a cut that couldn’t have been a lot of fun but does not appear to be minor. The less inspiring news is that Jack Crawford cannot practice today after suffering a strained groin, though it does not appear to be a serious injury.
With Damontae Kazee also apparently also not suffering a serious injury yesterday, the Falcons went 3 for 3 in the scary but ultimately not terrifying camp ailment department, which is a ratio I can more than live with. Too many teams have already lost good players to non-contact injuries, including the Miami Dolphins, who will be without Ryan Tannehill for the year.
Let’s hope the Falcons can keep going like that, and let’s hope Crawford and Kazee are ready to play against the Dolphins on Thursday. Crawford will be a key reserve and Kazee wants to prove he deserves a lot of playing time in the season ahead, so it’ll be vital for both to get on the field early and often. As always, though, health comes first.
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Walker: Ted Ginn Sr. one proud "Pops" at Saints training cam

Postby Angel92 » Aug 10th, '17, 07:06

There were 3,545 Saints fans at training camp Saturday.
You'd be hard pressed to find one with a bigger grin on their face than one of the newest members of Who Dat Nation.
Ted Ginn Sr. flew from Cleveland to New Orleans on Saturday morning and flew back Saturday night.
He wasn't about to miss this day, a chance to see his new favorite team.
"Whatever team Ted is on, that's my team," Ginn Sr. said.
The Ted he's referring to, of course, is Ted Ginn Jr., the speedy veteran receiver the Saints signed in March.
So now, Ginn Sr. is a Saints fan, the fifth team he's cheered for in his son's 11-year career. He's rooted for the Dolphins, the 49ers, the Panthers, the Cardinals, the Panthers again, and now the black and gold.
Cheering for the Saints will come easy for Ginn, Sr.
He grew up in Clifton, La., just outside of Franklinton, about 75 miles away from New Orleans before moving to Cleveland, Ohio, when he was 11.
"I'm a Louisiana boy," he said, pointing to the Louisiana shaped medallion dangling on the necklace he wore.
Ginn Sr. would often bring Ginn Jr. from Ohio to Louisiana when he was a kid.
"I had to let him know where he is from," Ginn Sr. said. "It's special that he's in Louisiana now. It gives hope for other little kids and other family members. You're proud to see someone from your family go out and achieve such a goal."
Five other family members, a childhood friend, and one of his high school assistant coaches attended Saturday's practice as well.
But this day wasn't special just for Ginn Sr., the dad. It was also special for Ginn Sr. the coach.
He's the head football coach at football juggernaut Glenville High School in Cleveland, where he coached Saints first-round draft pick Marshon Lattimore.
"Anytime you can see two of your kids playing on this level, it's an exciting time," Ginn Sr. said. "It's very special to see them both on the same team."
It's not the first time Ginn Sr. has had former Tarblooders (yes, that's Glenville's nickname) on the same team. His son, along with Troy Smith and Donte Whitmer, were all teammates with the 49ers.
Ginn Sr., who has coached for years, is well-connected in football circles. It's why he made the time to pose with Saints running back Adrian Peterson as well.
He's known Peterson since his high school days.
Peterson and Ginn Jr. came out of high school the same year. Peterson, who played high school football in Texas, was the U.S. Army National Player of the Year in 2003. Ginn Jr., a cornerback at the time, was USA Today's Defensive Player of the Year.
The two played against each other in the U.S. Army All-American Game.
There's a particular play from that game that Ginn Sr. still laughs about.
"AP came around the corner and Ted was the only person there to tackle him," the elder Ginn said. "Ted went down on his knee and didn't touch him. He wasn't trying to tackle him. So we laughed about that today. We always keep that little joke going."
In addition to his son and Lattimore, Ginn Sr. was thrilled to see the other two former Ohio State players (Michael Thomas and Vonn Bell) on the Saints roster.
Ginn Sr. has an attachment Doug Flutie Jersey to former Buckeyes.
"It was great to see all the Ohio State kids," he said. "Some of them call me Pops."
On this day, Pops had plenty reasons to be proud.
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