Reinstated DE Randy Gregory gets first game action since 2016

For the first time since the 2016 regular-season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles, defensive end Randy Gregory played for the Dallas Cowboys.

Suspended all of last season and reinstated only a matter of days before training camp started, Gregory played in 10 first-half snaps in Saturday’s 21-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at AT&T Stadium.

“I haven’t played an actual game in basically two years,” said Gregory, who did not record a tackle or pressure. “Practice is one thing. Conditioning’s one thing. Personal training’s one thing, but actually going out there and be with my guys and at least attempt to make some plays, it felt real good.”

The Cowboys took Gregory in the second round of the 2015 draft despite the off-the-field concerns that saw his draft stock take a hit. After a strong start in the preseason, an ankle injury kept him out of four games, and he did not record a sack in the 12 games he played. He has one sack in his career.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Gregory has played in only two of the past 32 regular-season games because of multiple violations of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. He opened training camp on the non-football injury list, as the Cowboys wanted him to work on his conditioning after such a long absence.10

He took part in just four full practices during the Cowboys’ time in Oxnard, California, but quickly showed that he was ready for at least some preseason action. In one practice, he recorded two sacks in a three-play span.

“Once we saw him practice, we anticipated him being able to play this game,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Certainly we want him to play the whole time. We want to be deliberate with him, and he went through all the steps we wanted him to go through.”

After the final practice on Thursday in Oxnard, Gregory said he does not feel like he has made the 53-man roster yet. Gregory said he hopes to play more Aug. 26 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Gregory said he was not reflective about his journey back to the Cowboys before kickoff.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

“I think if I did that, it would have kind of taken my mindset away from the game,” Gregory said. “I think I did it the right way, just coming in here like a professional and get ready, be out there early, warm up and then carry on as I would any other game.”

 

How bricks are helping Cowboys receivers improve hand strength

The Dallas Cowboys receivers head to the corner of a practice field as a long day at training camp comes to an end.

But before it’s over, the receivers have to hit the bricks.

Twenty-five-pound bricks are lined up for each of the receivers to pick up and carry from one side of the end zone to the other. After one trip, players flex their forearms and wiggle their fingers. They look at the bricks with the same disdain they have for cornerbacks.7

“It’s at the end of practice, and that’s what really makes it hard,” rookie receiver Michael Gallup said. “If you come out here right when practice starts, it probably wouldn’t be too slippery or nothing like that, but it’s a good little technique he has.”

New wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal is the architect of this training method. He did not have the receivers do it during the offseason program at The Star.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

“When we get grabbed, we want to be able to rip [the defender’s] arm off and pull through,” Lal said. “Hand strength is huge.”

The receivers are told to walk with them as far as they can. Gallup said Cole Beasley and Deonte Thompson are the best. They can go a little farther than up and back. But the idea is wherever you stop, beat that point the next time.

“Shoot, we’re catching whatever we can out there, trying to catch everything,” Gallup said. “But I’m pretty sure Sanjay’s not going to tell us to do anything that ain’t good for us.”nfl nike jerseys cheap china

In years past, most of the exotic drills belonged to tight ends coach Mike Pope. He would throw buckets of ice at his players as a pass was in the air. He had them wear goggles that limited their field of vision. Coach Jason Garrett remembers seeing now-retired tight end Jason Witten diving for passes in a pool at training camp.

Michael Porter Jr. says he’s pain-free after second back surgery

Porter told ESPN on Sunday at the NBA’s annual rookie photo shoot that, “I finally feel, like, good,” and he is hoping to be ready for game action around the time the season tips in mid-October.

“I don’t have a date but I’m hoping to be back for the beginning of the year. Gotta heal up, but I feel great,” Porter said. “I’m able to get on the court a little bit right now, do some different things. But my rehab has definitely been very conservative. They’re really taking it easy with me, being patient with me.”cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

Porter underwent a microdiscectomy in November 2017 that repaired one of two bulging disks in his back. He underwent a second spinal surgery in July, and the Nuggets did not announce a timetable for his return to basketball activities.

The 6-foot-10 Porter had been projected as a high lottery pick but slipped in the draft in part because of the injuries that limited him to just three appearances during his lone season at Missouri.

Porter elected to have the second surgery last month with hopes of alleviating all issues with his back before the start of his rookie season.10

“[Doctors originally] only thought one of [the bulging disks] was symptomatic,” said Porter. “They went in and fixed that one. Turns out that both were symptomatic. So my first surgery helped a lot but didn’t fix the entire problem. Now that they did this one, I’ve got no pain or anything. I’m excited.”

Porter raised some eyebrows earlier this week when it was noted that he liked an Instagram comment that had called Dallas rookie Luka Doncic “overrated.”

Porter told ESPN he immediately reached out to Doncic to explain it was an accident and retold the story while standing next to Doncic at Sunday’s event.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

“So what’s crazy is that blew up,” Porter said. “Believe it or not, I’m scrolling through [a post about] the Rookie of the Year odds and I accidentally like a comment. This is the EuroLeague MVP and I got nothing but respect for him. I was like, ‘Man, I didn’t want to come off like that.’

“I reached out to [Doncic], told him it was 100 percent accident and I told him, ‘I can’t wait to see what you do in the league.’ I wasn’t worried about what fans thought, but I wanted to let him know instantly. It was 100 percent accident.”

Raptors-Spurs, Lakers-Celtics among NBA schedule release highlights

Kawhi Leonard will make his return to San Antonio in early January, and the storied Los Angeles Lakers-Boston Celtics rivalry — now featuring LeBron James and Kyrie Irving — will resume in early February, the NBA announced Friday as part of its full schedule release.

Leonard will play in San Antonio on Jan. 3 for the first time since orchestrating a trade from the Spurs this offseason. San Antonio traded Leonard to the Toronto Raptors for a package that included DeMar DeRozan.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

DeRozan, who was upset over how the Raptors handled the trade, will be back in Toronto on Feb. 22.

The first game in the new iteration of the Celtics-Lakers rivalry is scheduled for Feb. 7 in Boston. The Celtics then travel to Los Angeles to play James and the Lakers on March 9.

There is sure to be plenty of interest in these games due to the history between the franchises and between Irving and James. Irving requested a trade from Cleveland in the summer of 2017 after reaching three consecutive NBA Finals with James and the Cavaliers.9

All of James’ games against the defending champion Golden State Warriors — and 31 Lakers games overall — will be on national television, including the Lakers’ trip to Golden State on Christmas Day.

James, who signed a four-year, $153 million contract with the Lakers in July, faced the Warriors in each of the past four NBA Finals as a member of Cavs.

James’ first game in Cleveland as a member of the Lakers will be on Nov. 21.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

It was announced Wednesday that the Lakers will open the season in Portland on Oct. 18, and follow up with their home opener on Oct. 20 against Houston.

The 2018-19 season tips off Oct. 16 with the Philadelphia 76ers visiting the Celtics and the Warriors hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder . Before the second game, the Warriors will receive their championship rings and unveil the banner for their 2018 NBA title.

Josh Rosen has snacks down, now let’s see about the first-team offense

Josh Rosen has had his preseason debut. Now he’ll get a chance to play with the starters.

And if he’s anywhere close to as good against the New Orleans Saints as he has been at doling out snacks, he should be in for a fine outing.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Rosen is one of two Arizona Cardinals rookies tasked with keeping the quarterbacks room stocked with preferred eats at training camp, according to No. 1 signal-caller Sam Bradford.

And Rosen hopes to meet or exceed expectations in his next moment against NFL competition. The Cardinals broke camp following Wednesday’s practice, and the plan, as laid out early in the week, is for Rosen to get some work with starters on offense against the Saints on Friday.

“That’s the plan,” Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks said. “We’ve got to really get into the flow of the game and see how things are going.”

Rosen remains the backup to Bradford on the Arizona depth chart, but Wilks liked what he saw from him in Wednesday’s practice.10

“He’s still learning; he’s still growing. He’s a rookie and he’s going to have some bumps here and there,” Wilks said, “but the guy has a very short term memory, which is great, and he’s a great competitor.”

“It’s awesome to get to run with some really great players,” he said. “Hopefully, get to complete a ball to Larry [Fitzgerald] and keep playing, whether it’s ones, twos or threes.”

Among the things the quarterbacks hope to improve on in the second preseason game are silent counts, mechanics and getting to the line of scrimmage a little faster, Bradford said. Bradford indicated he would be fine with more time on the field after playing only one series in the preseason opener.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

But it stands to reason that if the Cardinals want to see Rosen with the starters, Bradford will likely be limited on Friday.

Best of ‘Hard Knocks’: What Browns said to Antonio Callaway

Callaway keeps quiet until he is called into general manager John Dorsey’s office once the news of the incident breaks. After being asked to explain what happened, Callaway is told by Dorsey that he has to be smarter because everyone is watching.

“This isn’t college football. This is the National Football League, and just to put it out there plainly, you’re under the microscope,” Dorsey says. “They want to see you f— up. You’ve got to prove to them f—ers that you know what, cheap nfl jerseys nike china I’ve learned from my past, I’ve learned from my mistakes and we’re moving forward.”

“All of this can be prevented. … You can’t take a chance. You can’t put yourself in this situation and you can’t put us in this situation,” Jackson says. “Listen, you’ve got talent, but talent ain’t everything I’m looking for. I want you to become a man. Be responsible and accountable to John and me and your teammates or else I wouldn’t keep you on the team. I’m just being very honest with you. If s— comes up, you have my number, you’ve got John’s number, you call us ASAP. That’s what I expect from you from here on in. I believe you, but if I’m wrong on this one, then I’m going to have your ass.”9

Jackson makes a public show of support for Callaway during a team meeting and calls the rookie up to apologize to the team. “I gotta carry myself like a professional. It won’t happen no more,” Callaway says.

The Browns choose to punish Callaway by playing him on every offensive snap during their preseason opener against the New York Giants. He wears down during the game but still manages to shine with a 54-yard touchdown reception and earns respect from teammates, including Baker Mayfield.

Off-field issues knocked receiver Antonio Callaway to the fourth round of the 2018 NFL draft when many believed he had first-round talent. The Browns took a chance on Callaway, who was suspended for his final season at Florida in 2017 and then tested positive for marijuana at the scouting combine. Their trust in him was soon tested after they found out he had been stopped by police last week and cited for marijuana possession and a suspended license.

Callaway, who looked shaken during the first practice following the incident, was asked by coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley what was wrong.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

“You look like a puppy dog,” Haley tells Callaway. “Come on, we need you. This is very important. Everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. You can’t try to control all that. The guy upstairs is controlling that. You just try to be the best you can possibly be.”

Premier League helped by early deadline but were teams ready to play?

The English top-flight always commences in mid-August but, after a significant change to the structure of the transfer window, the new campaign will not feature the disastrous three-week period, in which clubs and media were focused more upon moves than matches. Now deadline day has already passed, the games themselves dominate.

In years gone by, the first month has been compromised by numerous teams not appearing to be properly equipped. Last season, for example, the Premier League began on Aug. 11 but clubs had another 20 days of transfer activity. At that point, with squads eventually finalised, we were forced to endure an international break, so the season only began properly on Sep. 9, nearly a month after the first game.cheap authentic nfl jerseys

It is worth remembering precisely why the Premier League found itself in this situation. Until 2002-03 there was no transfer window, as such, in England, aside from a deadline day on March 31 that was essentially to stop teams artificially boosting their squads with late-season additions. Otherwise, they were free to trade as they liked.

The introduction of a transfer window was effectively forced by the European Commission and the summer deadline day was generally in line with those of Serie A and La Liga, i.e. the end of August. However, there was a problem: While the leagues were in harmony as regards the end of the window, they were not when it came to the date on which the season began.10

Opening day in 2002-03 was Aug. 17 in England, Sep. 1 in Spain and Sep. 15 in Italy. Therefore, the latter two leagues effectively operated within the system the Premier League has now unilaterally enacted: Transfer window and league campaign did not overlap.

The pattern broadly continued for the next few years. La Liga’s season crept forward into the last week of August, meaning one week of overlap, while Serie A’s alternated between that date and an early-September start.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

But the Premier League has remained relatively consistent in its mid-August commencement, usually resulting in three rounds of matches with the window still open; it is a reason why the deadline-day silliness that is somewhat unique to the Premier League has meant matches have been played under a cloud.

 

Colorado Rapids rally for 2-2 draw with LA Galaxy

For a second consecutive game, the LA Galaxy twice gave back a one-goal lead in the second half and was forced to settle for a 2-2 draw at home, this time against the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday night.

Edgar Castillo scored and then assisted on Niki Jackson’s goal for Colorado. With a tie following two victories, the Rapids have strung together a three-match unbeaten run for just the second time this season.cheap youth nfl jerseys

Sebastian Lletget scored in his second consecutive game and Ashley Cole also scored for the Galaxy. LA still moved up one spot to fourth in the Western Conference standings on a night when everyone else was idle.

The Galaxy also saw two players depart injured by halftime for a second consecutive match. This time, midfielder Jonathan dos Santos left in the 34th minute with groin soreness before defender Michael Ciani followed at halftime with an undisclosed ailment.

Winger Romain Alessandrini and attacker Giovani dos Santos both departed the Galaxy’s 2-2 draw against Minnesota United last weekend and were unavailable Tuesday.9

Colorado endured its own unforeseen loss five minutes after the break, when Kellyn Acosta left due to illness shortly after vomiting on the field.

Cole had not scored since July 4, 2017, but the defender opened the scoring with the style of a forward in the 59th minute. Cole took Chris Pontius’ pass and sliced to the other side of one defender with his first touch, split two defenders with his second and chipped on-rushing goalkeeper Tim Howard with his third.

Castillo tied it in the 74th minute when he reached a clearing header from a Galaxy defender outside the penalty area, took a couple touches into the area and then unfurled a quick strike that beat diving goalkeeper David Bingham to his left.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Lletget put the Galaxy in front again four minutes later. After Colorado failed to clear a long cross toward the penalty area, Ola Kamara played a square ball toward Lletget that may have also grazed Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Lletget fired a first-time shot with his left foot, curling it beyond Howard and into the side netting.

However, Jackson had the final word, taking a pass from Castillo and firing a shot from the left corner of the penalty area that caromed off the leg of an LA defender and badly fooled Bingham as it knuckled into the net.

Twinsies? Melvin Gordon says fans in L.A. mistake him for Todd Gurley

During a conversation with Adam Schefter on his ESPN podcast last week, Gordon said that he got into an argument with a Rams fans who did not believe he was not Gurley.

“She thought I was Todd,” Gordon said. “I kept telling her no, and she got into an argument with me because she really thought I was Todd. She thought I was lying, and I’m like, ‘This is getting out of control.'”

Asked after practice on Monday if he had ever been mistaken for Gordon, Gurley said with a chuckle, “Nah, never.”

While Gordon does not like to be mistaken for Gurley around town, one area he would like to be similar to the Rams’ running back is contract status. Gurley recently signed a four-year $57.5 million deal that includes $45 million in guaranteed money.

Gordon is scheduled to make $1.9 million in the fourth year of his rookie contract, with the Chargers picking up his fifth-year option for $5.6 million in 2019.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“You could call me Todd all day, for real,” joked Gordon, when asked by Schefter about Gurley’s contract.

Asked about the possibility of new deal, Gordon told Schefter on the podcast that his focus is on football.10

“You can’t really think about it,” Gordon said. “It is what it is, and you kind of just have to let it come. If you think about it too much, it can mess up your game. Right now, I’m just focused on me and the team, really, and doing what we need to do.”

Gordon and Gurley were part of the same 2015 draft class. The Rams selected Gurley at No. 10 overall, while the Chargers gave up their first- and fourth-round selections in the 2015 draft and a fifth-rounder in 2016 in order to move up two spots and take Gordon at No. 15.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Since they entered the league, Gurley is second in the NFL with 3,296 rushing yards, while Gordon is No. 8 with 2,743 rushing yards.

Heading into his fourth NFL season, Gordon said he’s in good shape and ready to improve on his best season as a pro last year, in which he finished with 1,581 yards from scrimmage and 12 total touchdowns.

Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn has mentioned that he would like to find a complementary running back to share the workload with the Wisconsin product — and second-year pro Austin Ekeler — to help keep Gordon fresh for the backstretch of the 2018 season.

 

The AAF is different from leagues that have come before

Ebersol, the league CEO and son of former NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol, started working the phones and developing the business plan. Tech companies and former NFL stars got behind the product. Polian, who is staying in his role as an NFL analyst for ESPN, helped assemble personnel and coaching staffs with nearly 500 years of combined NFL experience.

A year later, the Alliance of American Football has a Feb. 9, 2019 launch date, a CBS contract, a Starter apparel deal, an eight-city blueprint, scheduled combines, a set of double-take football rules and 73-year-old Steve Spurrier.

The vision is clear: Keep the good times flowing in the late winter and spring with a league run by serious football people while learning from the failed attempts that came before it.

The USFL failed because it tried to overtake the NFL more than 30 years ago, defined more by lawsuits and undercut potential than its once star-studded rosters.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

The XFL failed because efforts to sell sex, excessive violence and wrestling-like personalities didn’t resonate with viewers, though Vince McMahon is eyeing a 2020 XFL reboot.

Even the CFL isn’t a true complement.8

But the Alliance has NFL people who care about the NFL’s well-being. It’s not a farm system, but it might involve shades of the NBA G League.

“Our objective is to take some of those people who can’t quite make it and make them into quality NFL players,” Polian said.

And the NFL wants on-the-bubble players to get reps elsewhere, Polian said. The Chicago Bears recently gave Phoenix general manager Phil Savage a list of prospects for him to watch closely during a scouting trip to Bourbonnais, Illinois.nfl cheap jerseys nike

“Since NFL Europe expired 10 years ago, there’s been a real desire and frustration by NFL personnel people that there’s a missing link as far as a developmental type league for prospects that weren’t quite ready,” said Savage, former general manager of the Cleveland Browns and Senior Bowl director.