Category Archives: NFL JERSEYS

Packers cut Kizer; Boyle likely to back up Rodgers

Less than two years after he started 15 games for the Cleveland Browns as a rookie, DeShone Kizer was released by the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers traded former first-round pick Damarious Randall to the Browns for Kizer on March 15, 2018. While Randall flopped as a cornerback for the Packers, he started all but one game for the Browns last year at safety and is projected to be a starter again this season.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

The Packers kept Tim Boyle, who likely will be Aaron Rodgers’ backup at least to start the season. Boyle, an undrafted free agent who was the Packers’ No. 3 quarterback last season behind Rodgers and Kizer, led all NFL quarterbacks this preseason with six touchdowns (and did not throw an interception).6

The 23-year-old Kizer, who was the 52nd overall pick in the 2017 draft, was never able to rectify the accuracy problems that plagued him during his rookie season as the Browns’ starter. He threw a league-high 22 interceptions and just 11 touchdowns in the Browns’ winless 2017 season. For Kizer, this was his fourth different offense in as many seasons — from his last year at Notre Dame to the Browns to his first year with the Packers under then-coach Mike McCarthy to new Packers coach Matt LaFleur.

Kizer played in three games in relief of Rodgers last season, including three drives in the season opener after Rodgers hurt his knee against the Chicago Bears and then most of the season finale against the Detroit Lions after Rodgers suffered a concussion. He threw two interceptions without a touchdown in 42 pass attempts in those two games.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

“In terms of myself, I feel confident as hell,” Kizer said after Thursday’s preseason finale. “I’ve changed my body, I’ve changed my mental [approach], I’ve changed my process as far as how I go about things, I’ve changed my mentality with how I approach the game, and with that, I’m happy. This has been a great offseason for me. The decision of whether or not I play for this team isn’t on me. But what I can say it that I’m confident I’ve become a better quarterback, I’ve become a better person, and I’m looking forward to having an opportunity to go out there and win games. That’s kind of the last cherry on top. But in terms of age and youth and where I see myself, look man, this game has given me a great life. It’s given me a great education, it’s given me great relationships that I’ll cherish forever, it’s given me opportunities of a lifetime. And for that, I’m always going to be grateful, I’m always going to have positive energy, but now it’s about seeing where I’m going to land and what team I’m going to be able to affect with that positive energy.”

It’s possible the Packers could bring in another quarterback, such as former New England Patriots backup Brian Hoyer (who was also released on Saturday) or someone else familiar with LaFleur’s offense, but for now Boyle will back up Rodgers. The strong-armed 24-year-old was inactive for all 16 games last season after making the roster as a free agent out of Eastern Kentucky. Boyle started his college career at UConn, where in three seasons he threw just one touchdown and 13 interceptions.

John Harbaugh’s T-shirt game is strong and motivating the Ravens

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh loves a good T-shirt. So much so that he’s got a guy on staff making custom designs for him.

At training camp last year, Harbaugh showed up with three words printed on a T-shirt.

Trying to set the tone after the 2017 season ended with a last-minute loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Harbaugh wanted to move past one of the most gut-wrenching moments in team history and put his players in the right mindset.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

At a team meeting, Harbaugh told the story of the biblical figure Benaiah chasing a lion into a snowy pit and killing it.

“If you want to do great things, you have to have courage,” said Harbaugh. “You got to know your moment.”

And boom … not long after that, Harbaugh later appeared at practice wearing a shirt reading, “Chase the Lion.”

One of the reasons Harbaugh is the fourth-longest-tenured coach in the NFL is his ability to find the pulse of the team and tailor his message to the circumstances. Harbaugh’s success — a Super Bowl title and 114 victories — comes from his ability to reinforce those messages to his players.5

And T-shirts are one of his favorite methods.

“If I wear it out there, I’m trying to say something to them that day,” Harbaugh said. “It’s all part of culture-building. It’s our world view. It’s what we believe. It’s what we’re based on. It’s our principles that we’re anchored to, and that’s the way it’s going to be.”

Harbaugh loves reading. If he comes across a meaningful life lesson, he picks up his phone and types it into his notes. There are easily a thousand talking points on his phone right now.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Many of those get made into shirts. Harbaugh doesn’t know the number of T-shirts he has made in his 12 seasons in Baltimore. The older ones are stored in a couple of drawers in his office.

If he wants a new message placed on a shirt, he informs Ravens equipment manager William Sheridan, who promptly gets it done.

“I’m going to make all of them into a quilt some day,” Harbaugh said with a smile. “I just have to find time to learn how to sew.”

OBJ full go at practice, good sign for Week 1

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. participated in team drills Monday for the first time since early August.

Beckham has been battling a hip injury, which has also kept him out of the Browns’ first three preseason games.

Beckham is not expected to play in Cleveland’s final preseason game Thursday against the Detroit Lions. But his return to full activity in practice is a good sign he’ll be ready for the Sept. 8 season opener against the Tennessee Titans.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“He looked good,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said after practice. “We’ve been working on the side with him with other things. Just natural progression. It was good to have him back out.”6

Kitchens added that he’s not concerned about the chemistry or timing between Beckham and quarterback Baker Mayfield, as the two prepare to play their first game together.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“They’ve been working through the whole camp. … Just because there wasn’t any team drills doesn’t mean they weren’t working,” Kitchens said. “They’ll definitely be on top of their game when we start game-planning. … It’s knowing where to line up, where to be, getting to your depth and catching the ball. After that, it’s get the ball in [Beckham’s] hands and see what he can do.”

Cam Newton’s injury puts spotlight on Panthers’ struggling backup QBs

There is optimism Cam Newton will be ready for the opener against the Los Angeles Rams after suffering a mild mid-foot sprain in Thursday’s preseason loss to the New England Patriots. That was the good news for the Carolina Panthers, but there’s still reason to be concerned about the quarterbacks.

Backups Kyle Allen and Will Grier have yet to prove they’re capable of playing at a consistent level should Newton miss time.

Allen, undrafted out of Houston last season, has completed 50% of his preseason attempts in Norv Turner’s offense, which is designed to be heavy on high-percentage passes. He has 124 yards and no touchdowns.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Grier, a Charlotte native and a third-round pick out of West Virginia in April, hasn’t been much better at 53.5% for 196 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions.5

Between them, they have one NFL start: Allen in last season’s finale, when the playoff-bound New Orleans Saints rested most of their starters. Allen and Grier also have two of the four lowest yards per attempt of any quarterbacks during the preseason, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Allen is averaging 4.4 yards per attempt and Grier 4.6.

The loss to the Patriots magnified how inefficient Allen and Grier — and the offense in general — have been during three preseason games. The Panthers had only two first downs and 29 total yards in the first half, and finished with seven first downs and 99 total yards.
The struggles of the offensive line complicate matters. This rebuilt group, led by free-agent center Matt Paradis replacing retired-and-then-unretired Ryan Kalil (now with the Jets), has several veterans.

Yet so far they haven’t developed the chemistry to allow any of the quarterbacks to work efficiently. Newton was sacked twice in three series, the second resulting in the injury, and had to throw away another pass while scrambling to avoid a sack.

The coaching staff can work on correcting mistakes, but getting Allen or Grier to perform at a high enough level to win — should Newton’s ankle force him to miss the opener or any other game — is another story.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

An argument can be made that it’s time to bring in a veteran, but there aren’t a lot of great options.

Vikings’ Mike Zimmer ‘proud, happy’ to face former QB Teddy Bridgewater

Before Bridgewater lines up under center in the Saints’ preseason opener, he’ll exchange customary hugs and high fives with the people who saw him through one of the worst times of his life. On the sideline opposite the New Orleans bench will be his former coaches and teammates from Minnesota; the ones he has kept in touch with this summer, such as Adam Thielen, Xavier Rhodes and Dalvin Cook, and others who routinely gushed about his presence as a leader in the locker room during his four seasons with the Vikings. The defenders once used to steering clear of the red No. 5 jersey in practice will now have free rein to get after the quarterback.

Perhaps the most emotional moment of the night will be the embrace Bridgewater inevitably shares with his former coach. Few outside of Mike Zimmer know the full extent of Bridgewater’s painstaking journey and all that it took for the quarterback to get back on the field.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Football may be a grown man’s game, but it is rarely sans emotion. All the what-ifs Zimmer has contemplated over the years of what their journey together could have been will never dissipate. While the coach’s main objective Friday is to test the strength of his team in its first live action of the season, seeing Bridgewater’s perseverance pay off is a feeling he is sure not to forget.6

“I’m so happy for him,” Zimmer said. “He texted me the day after the Super Bowl this year. I wish him all the best in the world. I want to hit him like any other quarterback, but I don’t want to hurt him. He’s a great kid. I’m proud of him that he’s been able to overcome that injury and I’ve heard that he’s been doing pretty good down there. So I’m proud of him to overcome that injury because when we got the statistics back when his knee got hurt, it was not really a very positive outlook for him to make it back.”

During training camp ahead of the 2017 season, just a year removed from when Bridgewater dislocated his left knee and tore his ACL when he planted his foot wrong in practice, Zimmer wasn’t sure whether the quarterback would ever be the same player the Vikings drafted with the 32nd overall pick in 2014.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

After more than a year of extensive rehab, Bridgewater made his way back to the active roster but saw action only in the waning minutes of a fourth-quarter win over the Bengals in December 2017. The news the Vikings got from their medical staff at the end of the 2017 season wasn’t as positive as Zimmer had hoped for the player who had, for a while, put an end to the revolving door the franchise had at quarterback for more than a decade.

The two parties eventually moved on, with the Vikings turning the chapter towards the Kirk Cousins era and Bridgewater ending up with the Saints last August via a trade with the Jets.

As the Vikings got ready to play the Saints in Week 8 last season, Zimmer asked New Orleans coach Sean Payton about the strides his former quarterback was making. The Saints signed Bridgewater to back up Drew Brees, but Payton noted the promise he saw in Bridgewater from the start.

Bears bound? Ravens’ Kaare Vedvik kicks up trade value another notch

Baltimore Ravens kicker Kaare Vedvik connected on four field goals, including a 55-yarder, in Thursday’s preseason opener, which should increase his chances of landing an NFL job.

Not in Baltimore, of course. The Ravens have Justin Tucker, the most accurate kicker in league history.

Vedvick is playing for the Ravens, but he’s auditioning for the other 31 teams in the NFL. Baltimore is hoping to trade Vedvik for a draft pick, if he continues to show promise in the remainder of the preseason.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“I don’t really ever think about that,” Vedvik said when asked about the speculation that another team will acquire him. “I’m focused on playing the game. That’s it. Teams that are interested, they talk to coach, the head honcho. I’m just going to play the game.”5

The Chicago Bears have been linked to Vedvik, and for good reason. Unproven kickers Eddy Pineiro and Elliott Fry are battling for the Bears job, which became open after Cody Parkey’s infamous double doink in the playoffs.

The Arizona Cardinals could be another interested team with Zane Gonzalez struggling in training camp, and the New York Jets might inquire after Chandler Catanzaro missed a couple of extra points in the first preseason game.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

The Ravens have a history of being a special-teams pipeline. Three current kickers — New Orleans’ Wil Lutz, Carolina’s Graham Gano and Buffalo’s Stephen Hauschka — all got their starts in Baltimore. Former special-teams coach Jerry Rosburg, who retired in June, had an eye for discovering kickers, and assistant Randy Brown has an expertise for developing talent.

“I fully expect that he’ll kick well enough for us to trade him,” coach John Harbaugh said at the NFL owners meetings in March. “That’s kind of the goal. He’s capable of kicking in the NFL. We probably could have traded him last year.”

Vedvik was one of the bigger surprises of last year’s training camp. Booming kicks with an effortless style, he was 8 of 9 (89%) on field goals during the preseason after being signed as an undrafted rookie. He hit a 56-yarder in the finale, which seemed to put the finishing touches on his exit from Baltimore.

But Vedvik was assaulted in East Baltimore before the Ravens could deal him to another team. He was hospitalized last September after being found alone with multiple facial injuries. Vedvik, who had originally gone out with teammates that night, told the Ravens that he didn’t remember how he ended up at the location where he was found.

Undrafted Elijah Holyfield has a fighter’s chance to make Panthers

Carolina Panthers running back Elijah Holyfield was 14 when he stepped into the boxing ring against a highly ranked 16-year-old. It was a chance to make a name for himself in a world where his father achieved greatness, maybe even carve a path to his own career in the sport.

Evander Holyfield, a four-time heavyweight champion and the only boxer to hold undisputed titles in two weight classes, was confident that his son was up to the challenge.

“I remember saying, ‘He can handle that guy. Just don’t tell his momma, because I know she’s going to think about all the fight this guy has,'” the elder Holyfield recalled last week during quarterback Cam Newton’s celebrity kickball tournament, which was held while Elijah participated in a Panthers rookie minicamp.

“He was rugged and hit real hard.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale8

Elijah hit real hard, too. He was holding his own in the match, but unlike his father he had a habit of holding his head up and exposing his face to punches instead of his forehead. That led to a nosebleed and a disqualification.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Elijah never stepped back into the ring competitively.

“I was, ‘I don’t want to get hit that much,'” Elijah recalled. “So I just kept with football, and it’s worked out for me.”

Whether Elijah becomes the real deal in the NFL the way his father was in boxing remains to be seen. The Panthers signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia after a slow 40-yard-dash time of 4.78 seconds at the NFL combine hurt his draft stock.

His undrafted status means he has a lot to prove in the hotly contested battle to back up Christian McCaffrey, who last season fell just shy of becoming the third back in NFL history to have 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season.

Among Holyfield’s competition is fifth-round pick Jordan Scarlett out of Florida and 2015 fifth-round pick Cameron Artis-Payne, along with Elijah Hood and Reggie Bonnafon.

Again, Evander believes his son is up to the challenge.

“It’s kind of disappointing he wasn’t drafted,” he said. “The fact of the matter is, it’s part of life. If you’re fast enough and score touchdowns, what difference does it make [what your 40 time was]? If it just had to do with how fast you are then they would have all the track stars go in the NFL.”

Expect these fantasy players to gain — or lose — the most targets in 2019

Opportunity is king in fantasy football. Or, to put it another way, you catch none of the targets you don’t see.

While player skill plays a critical part in analysis, the extent of a receiver’s opportunity is something with which to familiarize yourself. Ability and preseason player performance will help a lot of that fall into place, but there are ways to measure the extent of the opportunity a player could potentially receive.

One of those is to examine each team’s target totals from the previous season to see which of the players who accumulated them might’ve left the team during the offseason and therefore freed some up for others, as well as which players might’ve been brought in to soak up some of those left behind. This isn’t a new concept; it has often been discussed in the fantasy football industry as “vacated targets.”cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal7

This isn’t an exact science. Injuries have a bearing on the past season’s statistics. For example, Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Marqise Lee missed the entire 2018 season and therefore contributed nothing in the category after earning 103 and 96 targets the two previous seasons, but he will surely rejoin the team this season and absorb a significant amount.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Regression to the mean of a team’s target total can also have an impact, such as with the Indianapolis Colts, who saw a 157-pass-attempt increase from 2017 to ’18, which, while understandable to a degree with Andrew Luck back healthy and under center, still gave the team its largest total in the category in four years and second largest in any of Luck’s six healthy seasons.

What can Patrick Mahomes do for an encore in 2019?

Patrick Mahomes may not throw 50 touchdown passes and for more than 5,000 yards in 2019, one year after he became the second quarterback in NFL history to accomplish both feats in the same season.

But the Kansas City Chiefs still believe whatever they get from Mahomes will be considerable. What they saw from him last season, his first as a starter, convinced them of that.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

The Chiefs, hoping this season to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years, overhauled their defense during the offseason. They hired a mostly new defensive coaching staff, led by coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, and installed a 4-3 base defense. They acquired as many as seven new defensive starters, most notably end Frank Clark and safety Tyrann Mathieu.

But it’s the offense, led by the league MVP in Mahomes, that will again have to lead the way if the Chiefs are going to win the championship. Can the third-year quarterback repeat last season’s gaudy numbers? It has never been done in back-to-back seasons. Plus, the Chiefs are without star running back Kareem Hunt, who they released late last season after video surfaced showing him shoving and kicking a woman. They also may be without top wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who is suspended as the NFL investigates his possible involvement in a child abuse case.7

Even without Hunt and possibly Hill, the Chiefs are expecting the product to be as good or better than it was last season, when they lost to the New England Patriots in overtime of the AFC Championship Game.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

“We know that we are close and we have a pretty good team,” Veach said. “We aren’t trying to build for the future. We are trying to win now. We are going to stay aggressive.”

They’ll need growth from Mahomes, as good as he was last season, to get where they want to go. And he knows it.

“You have to improve yourself every single year,” Mahomes said. “… As I go into this season, I know that I need to even step it up even more, how I take care of body, nutrition, but even the prehab and the rehab and all the different stuff that you have to do in order to keep yourself at that top-notch level when the end of the season comes.”

Mahomes said he has started working on an offseason checklist to make himself better. He’s looking at his mistakes from last season and trying to improve his footwork, especially in the pocket.

“I feel like at times last year I would get, I don’t want to say lazy but basically lazy with how I was handling my feet in the pocket,” Mahomes said. “It would disrupt timing on throws, so keep working on those things so they can be more and more consistent as I go on.”

Ex-Saints FB Jed Collins realizes new dream as financial educator

Before he began his second career as a financial adviser, Collins spent seven years bouncing around the NFL with nine different teams as a journeyman fullback. His most prominent stretch came with the New Orleans Saints from 2011 through 2013, when he started 26 games and scored seven touchdowns.

So how does a fellow pro like Collins get his message across?

With turkey dinner, ice cream and Starbursts, of course.

Those were just some of Collins’ props as he explained the principles of gross and net income, the progressive income tax code and compound interest to rookies and first-year players with the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions this spring as part of the NFL’s orientation programs.nike nfl jerseys cheap china7

“I try to be an entertaining educator,” said Collins, who’s a director of financial education for wealth-management firm Brighton Jones in the Seattle area.

During his presentation on insurance, Collins also flashed pictures of various celebrities, asking players to guess which body parts they had insured for millions of dollars.

“When you speak over someone’s head, they immediately tune out,” said Collins, who was an accounting major at Washington State and first dreamed of coming back to the NFL one day to teach players about money when he realized his brothers, who studied law and engineering at Harvard and Berkeley, didn’t know much about managing money.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“It’s all of us,” Collins said. “Football player, journalist, astronaut, engineer, dance — nobody is learning this. And I looked at it as, ‘I am interested in this field, I am passionate about helping people, and what I’m finding is kind of my secret to success at the moment is I like people, I can talk to people and I’m a good storyteller.’

“When you’ve had the pressure of being in the Superdome in front of 70,000, 80,000, it’s not as intimidating to be in a room with 30 or 40 people there asking you questions about a 401(k).