Category Archives: NFL JERSEYS

Nick Saban’s open-door policy a factor in Alabama’s draft success

Alabama coach Nick Saban knew what he wanted when he coached in the NFL — first as a defensive assistant with the Houston Oilers and Cleveland Browns, then as head coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2005 and 2006.

He has spent the past 11 years as a college head coach making sure he provides that information to the league he left behind. NFL talent evaluators crave information; Saban’s policy at Alabama helps them obtain it.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

He has maintained an open-door policy for scouts, a philosophy that can help recruiting, keep college players sharp in practice and, yes, lead to more information for NFL teams. It also can help underclassmen decide if they’re ready for the NFL.

“I know it’s a lot easier when you have that policy than when you don’t,” Saban said. “When I was in the NFL and I wanted to go see a player and work out players, places that had a policy that embraced that, you were always looking forward to going there. Places that didn’t, you almost didn’t want to go sometimes. It was counterproductive for the player.”

The Crimson Tide has ruled the NFL draft since Saban became their head coach in 2007. Since then, Alabama leads all schools with 77 draft picks — five more than runner-up LSU (which did not have a similar policy, but does now). And the Tide leads all schools with 26 first-round picks — 15 more than LSU and 10 more than Ohio State. The Washington Redskins have drafted four players from Alabama in the past two drafts, including three in the first two rounds.40

Alabama’s talent, more than anything, attracts attention. The Tide’s elite players annually vie for the top spot among the recruiting rankings. Alabama’s 2017 class had 24 players rated with four or five stars by ESPN Recruiting Nation. Players go to Alabama knowing the NFL is a possibility.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

“When you go to college, you’re there to develop in your career and develop off the field and develop on the field to play at the next level,” said Saban, who has won five national championships at Alabama. “To not embrace that and help the players do that is counterproductive.”

Redskins’ defense will benefit from quarterback Alex Smith

I don’t know that there’s one stat I’ll be looking at to judge Smith. It’s easy to say wins and losses, but when Kirk Cousins was here, I’d always say you can’t judge one player that way (even at this position). There are many other factors involved.

Passing yards is another one, though if Smith doesn’t throw for 4,000 yards, is that necessarily a bad season? What if it’s because the Redskins also can run the ball consistently (for a change)? With Cousins, he had to throw for a lot of yards because there wasn’t a consistent rushing attack. They were overly reliant on the quarterback; I’ll also say they remain firmly convinced Jay Gruden’s offense can help many quarterbacks throw for 4,000 yards. We’ll see.

But I’ll go to the one I know you want me to mention: turnovers. Smith has long been known for not turning the ball over. In fact, in the past five years combined, he’s thrown only 33 interceptions. In 17 fewer starts, Cousins threw 19 more picks (but only seven fewer touchdowns). We know Smith takes care of the ball, but this stat can have a tremendous impact on both sides of the ball. It’s about field position. I wrote about this in February, but here’s the stat: Last season,cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale Washington allowed the opposition to start 23 drives inside its territory, which ranked 29th in the NFL. The Patriots allowed only five such drives (and two were kneel-downs at the end of a loss). The Redskins allowed the most drives to start inside their own 30.
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That was not all on Cousins by any means. But if this stat gets turned around, the Redskins will improve. During Smith’s five seasons in Kansas City, the Chiefs allowed a combined 72 such drives. It’s no coincidence they made the postseason four times and finished with a winning record all five years. Their defense was good for his first four years, but last season the Chiefs ranked 15th in points allowed and 28th in yards. They were not great by any means. They won 10 games. Taking care of the ball (and having some offensive playmakers) mattered. One Redskins staffer earlier this offseason pointed to this stat and Smith’s win-loss record in the past seven years (69-31-1) and said it was no coincidence. He pointed to his ability to take care of the ball as a main reason. He’s played with some excellent defenses, too. But he helps them out by not committing turnovers.

Clearly, Chris Thompson and Derrius Guice will be on the roster. They’ve used Rob Kelley as their No. 1 back in the spring (for what that’s worth). But coach Jay Gruden always has liked him, and they believed Kelley was doing a solid job before his ankle injuries kept slowing him down. And do you get rid of Samaje Perine after one season? To me, he showed enough that he could be a viable backup. But I also felt the Redskins were caught when Thompson went down because nobody else on the roster could do what he did. That doesn’t mean you must carry that guy on the active roster. If they’re on the practice squad it’s OK, considering they might not be active anyway on game day.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Between Byron Marshall and Kapri Bibbs, they have possible third-down options behind Thompson. If they believe undrafted free agent Martez Carter can develop (they like him, yet thought he needed to get in better shape), then he could be placed on the practice squad and developed. That way you get four backs on the roster and a fifth who would be in your system should anything happen. Last season they didn’t even have one on the practice squad when Thompson was hurt.

Suspended Cowboys DE Randy Gregory expected to meet with NFL

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory is expected to meet with NFL officials, potentially including commissioner Roger Goodell, this week in New York regarding his reinstatement, according to multiple sources.

Gregory’s attorney, Daniel Moskowitz, who helped former Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington gain reinstatement last year, declined comment.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

Gregory, who has missed 30 of the past 32 games because of suspension, filed the reinstatement application within the past two weeks.15

Last week, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said the proceeding was in the league’s hands.

“We don’t have anything to report differently, other than that I know he’s wanting to move forward with the appeal,” Jones said. “I don’t really have anything new to report on that front other than that. I know he’s done the application process, but I’m pretty sure he hasn’t had the actual appeal. It’s in the league’s hands.”

The NFL’s substance-abuse policy states that once the reinstatement paperwork has been filed, “all individuals involved in the process will take steps to enable the commissioner to render a decision within 60 days of the receipt of the application.”

There have been instances of the timeline being extended because not all of the steps have been completed in time.

Gregory fell to the Cowboys in the second round of the 2015 draft because of off-the-field issues during his time at Nebraska. Jerry Jones was willing to take the chance on Gregory and hoped a support system that helped other players through the years would help Gregory.cheap nfl nike jersey

Gregory played in 12 games as a rookie in 2015, missing four with an ankle injury. He ended up in the NFL’s substance-abuse program in 2016 and was initially suspended the first four games of that season. Another failed test led to an additional 10-game suspension, but he was able to return for the final two regular-season games and recorded the first — and so far only — sack of his career.

Roddy White: No-brainer that Julio Jones should be top-paid WR

Close friends and former Atlanta Falcons teammates Julio Jones and Roddy White have spent plenty of time together this offseason, including a recent trek to Los Angeles and multiple visits to the Carribean.

During those trips, White insisted neither discussed Jones’ contract situation that is tied to his absence from the Falcons’ offseason workouts.new nike nfl jerseys cheap

“Two rich people don’t talk about money,” White said with a laugh.

At the same time, White understands there is a reason for Jones to be a bit perplexed about his contract situation despite having three years and almost $35 million left on his deal.

A quick glance around the league shows seven receivers who average more than Jones’ $14.25 million per year, led by Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown at $17 million per year. When Jones signed a five-year, $71.25 million contract extension in August 2015, he received $47 million guaranteed — the same amount of guaranteed money Jarvis Landry secured after being traded to Cleveland from Miami. Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans tops all receivers with $55 million guaranteed as part of a five-year, $82.5 million extension he signed in March. Jones is set to make $10.5 million in 2018, 12th most among all receivers.

Naturally, the market value increases as the salary cap increases. But on paper, White firmly believes Jones has a valid argument for a revised contract and raise.6

“It’s a tough situation, especially for him because he just signed a deal three years ago,” White said, “but the numbers would tell you he’s way, way, way outplayed being paid the amount of money that they’ve given him.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

“A lot of times, you don’t want to rub people the wrong way. On the other hand, when people look at the numbers and start stacking them up against people that are making more money than him, then it verifies that he should be paid a lot more money. Yes, he deserves to be the highest-paid [receiver]. I think he does, based on performance. For me, that’s a no-brainer.”

White, the Falcons’ all-time leading receiver who went through a contract saga with the team, has mentored Jones over the years and is willing to serve as an adviser now — if needed. Falcons coach Dan Quinn said he expected Jones to be present when the Falcons held their three-day mandatory minicamp Tuesday through Thursday. Players who skip mandatory minicamp are subject to maximum fines of $14,070 the first day, $28,140 the second day, and $42,215 the third day.

Winning TD catch fuels Chris Godwin’s offseason momentum

It wasn’t just the play of the game in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 31-24 win against the New Orleans Saints in Week 17 last season — it was the play of the season. And if what the coaches and players at the Bucs’ organized team activities are saying is true, there should be many more of them in wide receiver Chris Godwin’s future.

On first-and-10 at the 39-yard line with 15 seconds to go, quarterback Jameis Winston hit Godwin along the right sideline. Cornerback Ken Crawley draped himself all over Godwin’s body the last 10 yards, but Godwin still managed to dash his way into the end zone, giving him his first NFL touchdown catch.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

“For me, it was kind of just a big [weight] off my shoulders,” Godwin said. “Like when you first get into the league, you have milestones that you want to get to, whether it’s first catch, or first touchdown — I’m just thankful it was able to come my first year.”

The week before against the Carolina Panthers, he’d been stopped 1 yard shy of the end zone and wide receivers coach Skyler Fulton still puts in the tape of it to remind him.5

“I give him a hard time that Bobo [Wilson] got a touchdown before he did,” Fulton said, laughing. “But ultimately, it just gives you confidence. You go out and make plays like that on an NFL stage in a pressure situation, at the point we were at in our season … it’s just another step of maturity and confidence. Now when we get to a similar scenario — that’s nothing to him, he’s done it before, he knows he can do it.”

The play did wonders for his confidence. It has carried into 2018, and he has had arguably one of the best offseasons of any Bucs player.

“It’s kind of like a night-and-day difference, just how comfortable I am. Coming in, like I have my routine that I do every day, it just allows me to come out here and play a lot faster,” said Godwin, adding he learned a lot from the different matchups he had with opposing cornerbacks.new nike nfl jerseys cheap

“I think the biggest difference is that in college, you may have like four really good guys that you go against,” Godwin said. “And in the NFL, every week, you have a guy that’s in the top 1 percent in the world at what he does. So it’s just understanding that and coming prepared every day to get better and really compete on every single play.”

Denzel Ward hopes to follow buddy Marshon Lattimore’s blueprint

No paternity tests needed, mind you. Lattimore is 22, Ward is 21. The two simply have a bond that goes back to The Ohio State University, where Ward, Lattimore and Gareon Conley formed a cornerback hydra that resulted in all being taken in the first round of the NFL draft — Lattimore by New Orleans and Conley by the Raiders a year ago, Ward fourth overall by the Browns in April.

That the Buckeyes had three first-round picks in the same backfield speaks to each player’s ability but also to the system the Buckeyes use defensively. Ohio State is one of the few programs in the country that ask their corners to play press-man coverage, a skill that is required in the NFL.cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

“Coach Coombs told me when he recruited me, he wanted to coach first-round draft picks and win championships,” Ward said of secondary coach Kerry Coombs. “That sold me right there.”

“We were with each other every day,” Lattimore said. “Same position. Like me, Gareon, Denzel and Damon Arnette. And we were in battle together. So when you’re battling with somebody, you’re gonna get close to them no matter what. So just me being with him, and me looking at him like my little brother, it just became natural.”

The Browns made Ward a semi-surprising fourth overall pick in the hopes he can do for Cleveland what his friend and mentor did for the Saints. Lattimore’s impact on New Orleans after being taken 11th overall was significant.12

With Lattimore starting as a rookie, New Orleans improved in every pass-defense category, from 4,380 passing yards given up in 2016 to 3,597 in 2017, from 27 touchdown passes to 22, from nine interceptions to 20.

According to ProFootballFocus.com, Lattimore was the fourth-ranked corner in the league and the 29th-best player. He allowed opposing quarterbacks a 45.3 passer rating when throwing his way, best among all rookies.

Lattimore wound up in the Pro Bowl and the winner of the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. Last week, he talked about becoming “a legend.”

It may be oversimplifying to say one player made that much of a difference, but when it comes to a cover corner, the impact can be significant. Think Richard Sherman at his best with Seattle. Think the impact of Jalen Ramsey, who ranked third in the NFL at his postion and was a key reason Jacksonville made the AFC Championship Game. The cover corner not only takes away the opposing team’s best player, he frees defensive coordinators to provide extra help elsewhere.cheap new nike nfl jerseys

In a seven-game stretch early in the season with Lattimore playing and learning, the Saints gave up 149.2 yards passing per game. Lattimore missed the next two games, and the Saints gave up more than 300 yards passing in both games.

Time for Aaron Rodgers to change after injuries? ‘Nope’

Rodgers answered much more definitively than he did shortly after his injury, when he said: “I haven’t thought about that a whole lot, but what comes to mind right away is no. But I might need to think about that the next eight weeks.”

Since he became a starter in 2008, no quarterback has thrown more touchdown passes from outside the pocket than Rodgers. And it’s not even close. cheap nfl jerseys china nike Rodgers has 62 of them in 126 regular-season games, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Next best is Matt Ryan, who has 27 fewer in 16 more games. Ben Roethlisberger ranks tied for third (31 in 128 games) with Matthew Stafford (31 in 125 games).

“Best in the league at playing in the pocket and extending plays outside the pocket; that won’t change,” said Frank Cignetti Jr., the Packers’ new quarterbacks coach. “Moving forward, we’re going to expect Aaron to play the way he always has.”

Rodgers proved effective — even dynamic — as mostly a pocket passer in 2014 when he played into the playoffs with a badly sprained calf. But even at age 34, Rodgers’ ability to improvise on the move has not waned.312

Perhaps Rodgers simply has to protect himself by expecting to get hit every time. The film of last year’s injury showed that Rodgers clearly did not expect Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr to hit him — a hit that drove him into the ground — after he released the ball. That was evident in the way he fell. He tried to brace his fall with his right arm, which isn’t how coach Mike McCarthy and his staff teach quarterbacks to fall when they’re hit. That was a clear reaction to Rodgers’ surprise by the hit. Ordinarily, he would roll into a hit rather than brace himself.

“We’d love to be able to have our quarterbacks sit on their back foot, go through their progressions, deliver the ball from the pocket on time, in rhythm, never get hit,” offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. “We know that’s not a realistic thing that can happen in the game. And we certainly don’t want to take away, as Mike always talks about, there’s two phases to every pass play: There’s a progression — the pocket phase — and then there’s the out-of-pocket phase. We’ve been beneficiaries of a lot of big plays from Aaron outside the pocket. We don’t want to lose that part of the offense.

“And frankly, it helps us against a defense, because they have to game plan for him being able to escape,nfl cheap jerseys nike  him being able to make some throws outside of the pocket. But there’s a balance like anything.”

Rodgers looked the same as usual during Tuesday’s OTA practice, the first open session of the spring. The ball came out with zip, and he orchestrated a touchdown drive in the two-minute drill, throwing a dart to Randall Cobb down the seam for a 48-yard touchdown.

Why Kirk Cousins is primed for a career season with Vikings

Just over a month after signing a historic fully guaranteed $84 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings, Kirk Cousins was already getting down to business.

Down in Atlanta, where he spent part of the offseason,cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale  Cousins met up with Vikings wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen and running back Mack Brown in April to sling the ball around with the players he’ll share a field with this fall.

Cousins labeled the session “productive,” and that’s aside from the always-beneficial extra reps a quarterback can get in with his receivers.

“More than just the football,” Cousins said. “Just to get to know one another a little and build somewhat of a foundation before we started with the whole crew.”

As Cousins and the Vikings begin OTAs this week, Minnesota’s new QB will continue to build upon the chemistry he started to form with his pass-catchers before the voluntary offseason program began. He has all the pieces in place to be on the cusp of something great this season with a career year while solidifying his status as a franchise quarterback.

Cousins knows having strong chemistry with the playmakers around him leads to success, the likes of which he experienced during the best year of his career in 2016 with the Washington Redskins.

He reached his first Pro Bowl surrounded by a strong supporting cast. At the forefront was his receiving corps, highlighted by DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Jamison Crowder.310

Jackson established himself as one of the NFL’s top vertical threats dating back to the start of his career in 2008 and helped Cousins become one of the league’s most productive deep-ball passers that season. He made 39 of his 94 deep-ball attempts (passes that traveled 20 or more air yards) for an NFL-best 1,359 yards, 11 touchdowns and three interceptions in 2016. Regularly at the other end of those passes was Jackson, who averaged 17.9 yards per catch and became Cousins’ favorite vertical threat.

In the midst of Cousins’ career year, Crowder had one as well as a reliable target in the slot who caught almost 68 percent of his passes for seven touchdowns in 2016.cheap nfl nike jersey

When his supporting cast was at its best in Washington, complete with a dynamic tight end duo and an exemplary group of pass-catching running backs, so was Cousins. Without Jackson and Garcon last season and a rash of injuries to his crop of playmakers (not to mention the dire state of the offensive line), Cousins struggled. He was labeled by some as a system QB, incapable of being the difference maker his team needed.

Charlie Brewer following Baker Mayfield’s path to college success

Three years ago, then-Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was chatting about one of his favorite subjects — Lake Travis High School football. To that point, Mayfield’s Austin, Texas, alma mater had produced four Power 5 starting quarterbacks in a decade.

But in Mayfield’s opinion, one of the best was still on the way.

“Watch out for Charlie Brewer,” he claimed then.official nfl jerseys

Now — following in the footsteps of Mayfield as an undersized and under-recruited, yet ultra-productive high school state champion — Brewer has made good on Mayfield’s prognostication. And, not only has Brewer already emerged as the starting quarterback at Baylor, he has the Bears believing they could be in for a big bounce-back campaign following a 1-11 finish in coach Matt Rhule’s debut season.

“After seeing him play now, am I surprised now that more people didn’t offer him? Absolutely,” Rhule said. “I know people might have looked at his height. … but he’s a competitor, and he’s certainly big enough. He’s certainly fast.

“And I know we’re lucky to have him.”252

Until Rhule was hired at Baylor in December of 2016, Brewer was mired in a situation similar to what Mayfield endured as a high school senior.

Despite totaling 61 touchdowns with only two interceptions on the way to leading Lake Travis to the state title at Texas’ highest classification, Brewer didn’t have a single Power 5 scholarship offer. As a result, he’d committed to SMU and Chad Morris, whose coaching career, coincidentally, had begun at Lake Travis.

“Because Lake Travis had been pretty good, I think teams viewed me as a system guy — that’s the term I heard a lot and that’s what Baker had been told,” Brewer said of Mayfield, whose only offers came from Washington State, where to get nfl jerseys cheap Florida Atlantic, New Mexico and Rice, which prompted him to walk on to Texas Tech before ultimately transferring to Oklahoma. “Me and Baker, we’re not the tallest guys at 6-foot, 6-foot-1. So, I think height and the label as a system quarterback were setbacks for both of us.”

That Lake Travis system, however, had developed Todd Reesing, who, despite being 5-foot-11, took Kansas to the 2008 Orange Bowl. It also produced Brewer’s older brother Michael, who started for Texas Tech, then, after transferring to Virginia Tech, was the only quarterback in 2014 to defeat national champion Ohio State.

Not easy for Patriots to replace ‘ridiculously large mammal’

When it comes to the New England Patriots’ task of replacing left tackle Nate Solder in 2018, few can offer the type of perspective that Matt Light can.

Light protected Tom Brady’s blind side from 2001-2011 and is the 2018 inductee into the Patriots Hall of Fame. Furthermore, as a rookie, he started 15 games at left tackle for the Patriots (12 in the regular season, wholesale authentic nfl jerseys three in the playoffs).

This season, the Patriots might be turning to a rookie to replace Solder after selecting Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn in the first round of the draft.

“As far as fans, and how they view this season with respect to the loss to a guy like Nate, Nate’s not a guy you can just replace. No. 1, because he’s a ridiculously large mammal,” Light said of the 6-foot-8, 325-pound Solder, who signed a four-year, $62-million contract with the New York Giants as a free agent.

“From the first time I met him, I thought, ‘Man, this just shouldn’t be right that big guys like this are designed the way they are.’ No fat. Runs like a deer. Got the reach and wingspan of a vulture. The guy is just unbelievably talented in so many ways, and he’s smart, a cerebral player. You don’t replace a guy like that overnight.”

Solder, of course, replaced Light in the 2012 season and held down the left-tackle spot (outside of injury) for six seasons.251

As for who replaces Solder in 2018, Wynn is one option. Four-year veteran Trent Brown, who was acquired in a trade from the 49ers, is another. The team also has six-year veterans LaAdrian Waddle and Matt Tobin, along with developmental prospect Andrew Jelks. Offensive-line coach Dante Scarnecchia said last week that the team prefers to keep Marcus Cannon at right tackle, so he would ideally only be tapped in an emergency.

“They have some guys that have had a little experience and have seen some stuff, but overall it looks as though you’re going to be going with a guy that may have zero experience in the NFL. Who knows how it all shakes out?” Light said.

“But it’s been done before. They survived me going through that first year of being lost in so many ways and trying to figure out things on the run. I would say this,official nfl jerseys for all the fans out there, it’s been documented but I’m not sure it’s been appreciated as it should be, but the work Dante does and the work he puts into the offseason — and the work he puts into the young guys that are coming into the organization and how he motivates those guys and pushes them to be in the best position possible to play the game — I’ve got a lot of confidence in his ability to prepare the guys he thinks are the best to take the field.