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Shoutouts are mandatory for Texans and their ‘fine commissioners’

As Dylan Cole discusses an important role he has on this Houston Texans team, he pulls out a notebook.

On the inside of the back cover, Cole has a chart with tally marks that indicate the number of team violations each fellow inside linebacker has committed and the corresponding fines.

Cole is one of the team’s few unofficial “fine commissioners,” which also include outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett, nose tackle Brandon Dunn and guard Greg Mancz. The rules and different categories vary between position groups, but the linebackers and offensive line agree on one fine: If a player is doing an interview and doesn’t shout out at least two of his teammates, he gets put down into a fine category.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Players have different techniques they use when talking about their teammates during interviews, including everything from getting it over with in the first question to relying on their teammates yelling at them to remember.

The worst offender?7

“I’m going to go with B-Mac [inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney],” Cole said. “He has the same thing that he says every time, and then he forgets. I don’t know what lines he says, but he says the same lines every single time and then he forgets about us.

“Can’t forget about your teammates. That’s the most important thing. This is a team sport. It’s not individual. We’re not playing tennis out here.”cheap nfl nike jerseys china

The outside linebackers are more laid back about fines than the inside linebackers, Scarlett said, but the OLBs do have one violation that will be given a fine every time.

“We have one strong rule: no snitching,” Scarlett said. “If you snitch, it’s a fine. If you tell on your brother, it’s a fine.”

The defensive line doesn’t observe rules for not shouting out a teammate, but the D-linemen do have a long list of fine categories that position coach Anthony Weaver keeps track of in an Excel spreadsheet. If a player is late to a meeting, he is fined $250. Dunn says the “disrespect fine” of $50 applies mostly to rookies. And the biggest fine levied to date was for $500, for farting in the meeting room. Nose tackle D.J. Reader said that has happened only once, by a player who is no longer on the team. “We don’t play around with that,” he said.

Don’t overlook Kyle Allen if he faces former nemesis Kyler Murray

It’s easy to overlook Carolina Panthers backup quarterback Kyle Allen because he wasn’t invited to a college all-star game, went undrafted and was cut from the practice squad before making the 53-man roster when Cam Newton was shut down for the final two games of last season.

It’s easy to overlook Allen’s Week 17 win against New Orleans because the Saints rested their starters, having already wrapped up the NFC South title.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

It’s easy to overlook Allen this week as he works with the first team in the likelihood a left foot sprain will keep Newton out of Sunday’s game against the Cardinals in Arizona, where Allen grew up, and against the top pick of the draft — a fellow QB whose presence played a role in Allen’s college career that showed promise but never took off.

Jordan Palmer gets why Allen is under the radar.5

“I totally understand how the media and the fans could arrive at that,” said Palmer, a former NFL quarterback who works with Allen during the offseason at QB Summit. “There’s so much information out there nowadays, you feel if you don’t know a lot about somebody, they’re probably not that good.

“I do know Kyle. I’ve been paying attention since high school, and I’ve had a lot of conviction on him for a long time. So I’m not surprised at all he’s in this position, and I’m not going to be surprised at all when he plays really, really well and this offense really starts clicking.”

That’s a bold prediction, as Allen completed only 52.9% of his passes and had no touchdown passes in four preseason games.

Palmer has worked with Allen since he was at Desert Mountain High in Scottsdale. He has seen enough to believe that when surrounded by the first-team line and do-it-all running back Christian McCaffrey — neither was at his disposal most of the preseason — the offense will be as explosive as Allen promised it would be coming out of training camp.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

“He’s going to go through his progressions, and he’s going to throw and anticipate your timing; and the moment is not going to be too big for him, and he’s going to play really composed, good, execution football,” said Palmer, the younger brother of former three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer.

Hall, Devils to continue contract negotiations, GM says

Taylor Hall will continue to negotiate a contract with the New Jersey Devils during training camp, general manager Ray Shero said Monday.

“Sometime later in training camp we’ll sit down,” Shero said. “From Taylor’s standpoint, I think he’s dialed in on himself right now in terms of his game and getting back on the ice after only playing 33 games last year. I look forward to seeing him at training camp. Nothing has really changed since the end of the season in terms of how this is playing out.”

The 27-year-old left wing has one season remaining on a seven-year, $42 million contract he signed with the Edmonton Oilers on Aug. 22, 2012, and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2020. Hall, who was acquired by New Jersey in a trade with Edmonton for defenseman Adam Larsson on Jun 29, 2016, can sign an extension of up to eight years with the Devils at any time.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Hall had 37 points (11 goals, 26 assists) last season before missing the final 47 games after having arthroscopic surgery in February to remove fragments from his left knee. In 2017-18, he won the Hart Trophy as the NHL most valuable player after getting an NHL career-high 93 points (39 goals, 54 assists) in 76 games and helping the Devils qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in six seasons.6

“He’s been working out, skating, and we’ll kind of see where we go with the exhibition games,” Shero said. “Maybe he’ll play later on in the exhibition, but I’ll leave that up to [coach John Hynes] and our medical staff. But everything is good to go coming into camp. I’m looking forward to it and we’ll kind of see how he’s doing and then get him game ready maybe for the last few games of exhibition, but we’ll see.”

The Devils have a seven-game preseason schedule consisting of three home games and four on the road. New Jersey opens the preseason with a split-squad game against the Boston Bruins and at the Montreal Canadiens on Sept. 16.

The Devils will host the Winnipeg Jets in their season opener at Prudential Center on Oct. 4.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“There are different stages of negotiation and at some point, [Hall’s] going to play for us and then we’ll sort it out,” Shero said. “Whether he’s signed, we’ll see. I look forward to sitting down with him and seeing him back on the ice with us, which will be great. I know he’s looking forward to that, too. Ideally, we wanted to give him space this summer anyway, training wise. We’ve made some additions to try and improve our hockey team and hopefully Taylor will be a big part of this in the future.”

New Jersey, which went 31-41-10 last season, 26 points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card from the Eastern Conference, has been among the most active teams during the offseason. The Devils selected center Jack Hughes with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft on June 21 and acquired defenseman P.K. Subban in a trade with the Nashville Predators the next day. They also signed forward Wayne Simmonds to a one year, $5 million contract July 1 and acquired forward Nikita Gusev in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights on July 29 before signing him to a two-year, $9 million contract the same day.

Tavares says next captain of Maple Leafs will be ‘great one’

John Tavares said the chance to be Toronto Maple Leafs captain would be an honor but noted whoever is selected will have a strong leadership group in place to help him.

“No question being a Maple Leaf and the history, what it means, the tradition, the connection to the fan base and city, it’s a big deal but at the same time you don’t want to let it change you,” Tavares said Monday after skating with teammates. “You just want to be yourself and play your game but whatever happens, I know we’re going to have a great one, whoever it is. We want to all support whoever it is.”

Toronto has not had a captain since defenseman Dion Phaneuf was traded to the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 9, 2016; and general manager Kyle Dubas has said naming a captain is a significant decision because of the responsibility it carries for an Original Six team.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Tavares, who signed a seven-year contract with Toronto as an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2018, was captain of the New York Islanders for five seasons (2013-18) and is one of two Maple Leafs along with Jason Spezza, who was captain of the Ottawa Senators for one season (2013-14), to have been a captain in the NHL.5

“I know from my time being a captain, you realize how important the people are around you, that you don’t have all the answers and that you have to lean on your teammates,” Tavares said. “When you have so many great players, great people, guys who can lead and could wear the C here and be that guy, you realize just how much you can lean on everyone else because you’ve got all those guys around you to lift you up and help you when things aren’t going well.”

Tavares, who had an NHL career-high 88 points (47 goals, 41 assists) in 82 games last season, mentioned several of his teammates he feels worthy of the honor.

Defenseman Morgan Rielly.

“Morgan being here as long as he has (six seasons) and his maturity level, you can see it in his game and how he carries himself off the ice, just very level headed especially as a defenseman which is a very tough position to play with the amount of load he carries,” Tavares said.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Forward Mitchell Marner, who remains a restricted free agent.

“[Marner] has an incredible energy about him, just brings the room to life and the way he impacts the game in so many different areas, the way he plays it is so unique,” Tavares said.

Yankees News: Mike Tauchman to Miss 6-8 Weeks with Calf Injury

The New York Yankees have battled injuries throughout the season and will be without another key piece down the stretch.

According to Yankees reporter Bryan Hoch, outfielder Mike Tauchman will miss six to eight weeks with a Grade 2 calf strain.

“I’m bummed out for him,” manager Aaron Boone said, per Hoch. “We’ve got to keep moving.”nfl nike jerseys cheap china5

Tauchman has appeared in 87 games for the Bronx Bombers this season and is slashing .277/.361/.504 with 13 home runs and 47 RBI. The numbers are a significant turnaround from last year when he was largely a nonfactor for the Colorado Rockies and finished with an .094 batting average in 21 games.

His presence in the lineup has helped make up for injuries to Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Miguel Andujar, Aaron Hicks and Greg Bird, among others, throughout the season.

Even with the attrition, New York is 94-50 and 8.5 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. It has fought through injuries all year and remains on the short list of World Series contenders and will have to continue doing the same following this setback.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Hoch noted Boone pointed to Cameron Maybin, Clint Frazier and Tyler Wade as candidates to see more playing time while Tauchman is out.

Tom Brady Says Antonio Brown Has ‘A Lot to Learn’ After Joining Patriots

Tom Brady is understandably excited about the New England Patriots’ signing of Antonio Brown, but he acknowledged there is work to be done for the seven-time Pro Bowler to get acclimated.

“There was a lot of positive emotion when it happened,” Brady told NBC Sports’ Peter King, “but you know, everybody says, ‘Whoa, this is what it can be, and what potential they have.’ But you know, the teams I’ve been on, they go to work.”

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“The NFL’s a competitive place. Lots of moving parts. Lots of adjustment, constantly. Week to week, a guy gets hurts, a guy gets picked up you don’t know, you’re constantly manipulating your team. We lost our right tackle [Marcus Cannon, with a shoulder injury] tonight for who knows how long. Like, oh s–t, that’s a big deal. Now we’ll add Antonio, and he’s got to … there’s a lot to learn. … The point is, it’s one thing to talk about; it’s another thing to go do it. Let’s go do it. That’s what my attitude is.”8

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk said on the Sunday Night Football broadcast that Brady is already going all out to get his teammate acclimated to New England, offering to allow Brown to stay with him while he gets settled.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft told NBC’s Al Michaels that Brady is “a million percent in” on the Brown signing.

“Kraft also told me that when he broke the news to Tom Brady yesterday, Brady initially said, ‘I’m a hundred percent in.’ Two minutes later, Brady came back and said to Kraft, ‘I’m a thousand percent in.’ Then he came back two minutes later and said, ”I’m a million percent in,'” Michaels said on the broadcast.

Brady told reporters that he and Kraft had a “private conversation” and expressed excitement about adding “great football players.” King described Brady as not being “giddy, or overly bubbly” at the prospect of playing with Brown but would “describe him as pleased that the Patriots went out on a limb and invested millions” in the talented wideout.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

While many have questioned Brown’s antics in recent months, his on-field production isn’t a concern. He’s the first player in NFL history to post six straight 100-reception seasons; he also had 121 more receptions than any other receiver between 2013 and 2018.

Brown is the best receiver Brady has played with since Randy Moss from 2007 to 2010. Provided Brown is able to fit into the “Patriot way,” this should be a seamless fit that gives the Patriots their best receiving corps since their undefeated 2007 season.

Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott on Win vs. Giants: ‘Obviously, I Was a Little Rusty’

Some rust was to be expected for Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott after he held out for all of training camp and the preseason, and that is exactly what he said happened during Sunday’s 35-17 season-opening win over the New York Giants.

“I felt about the same. Obviously, I was a little rusty,” Elliott said, per Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. “I didn’t play the best game. I have a lot I can improve on. But that’s going to take time, and it’s about getting more reps and being out there longer.”nfl cheap jerseys nike

The Ohio State product finished with 13 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown, and he added one catch for 10 yards.

Williams noted the Cowboys intentionally limited his workload against the Giants in an effort to avoid soft-tissue injuries upon his return.5

The strategy paid off thanks to quarterback Dak Prescott, who finished 25-of-32 for 405 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Dallas receivers consistently found themselves open in the Giants secondary, and Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup each eclipsed the century mark for yardage.

While Dallas didn’t need Elliott at his best to defeat New York, Sunday made clear it will need him as the season progresses. Tony Pollard impressed at times in the preseason, but he struggled on his way to 13 carries for 24 yards in Sunday’s contest.

There was a clear talent dropoff at the position when Elliott was sidelined.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Fortunately for the Cowboys, Elliott’s track record suggests plenty of production is to come. He has been in the league three years and has already reached two Pro Bowls and led the league in rushing yards two times. One of those times was last season when he finished with 1,434 yards on the ground.

He was still solid even while rusty in Week 1 and only figures to improve as the season continues.

X-rays negative after Harper plunked, exits game

Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper exited Friday night’s game against the New York Mets with a right-hand contusion after he was hit on the right hand by a pitch from Mets starter Steven Matz in the third inning.

X-rays were negative, but Harper said after the game that he could not grip a bat, and he was uncertain whether he could Saturday.

“I don’t know yet. See tomorrow how I feel,” he said. “Of course, we’re in the stretch right now so if I can be in there, I’m gonna be in there. But gotta be careful too.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Harper, batting with one out and a runner on third, was ahead in the count 1-0 when Matz’s 93 mph fastball sailed up and in on him. Harper recoiled and the ball ricocheted off his hand.7

The 26-year-old fell to his knees and gripped his hand in pain before getting to his feet and walking back to the plate, where Mets catcher Wilson Ramos appeared to ask Harper how he was doing. Harper put his head on Ramos’ shoulder before Ramos, a former teammate with the Washington Nationals, patted him on the shoulder.

After a brief visit from a trainer and manager Gabe Kapler, Harper trotted to first base. He was retired at second on an inning-ending double play by Rhys Hoskins, after which Sean Rodriguez trotted out to replace Harper in right field.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“Any time it squares you up a little bit, it’s scary,” Harper said. “Definitely wanted to get on first and keep the game going. But yeah, it wasn’t good.”

Harper’s plunking might be the latest chapter in what has become a volatile rivalry this season. The Mets have been hit by a pitch 14 times in 16 games against the Phillies, who have been hit by a New York pitcher eight times.

Hoskins took offense to a pair of up-and-in pitches from Jacob Rhame on April 23 and punctuated his displeasure by taking a 35-second home run trot after going deep off Rhame the next night.

On July 6, Phillies right-hander Jake Arrieta hit three Mets batters. Todd Frazier, the second batter plunked by Arrieta, was ejected for arguing after home plate umpire Tripp Gibson warned both teams. Two batters later, Arrieta wasn’t ejected after hitting Amed Rosario with a changeup, though New York manager Mickey Callaway was tossed for arguing. After the game, Arrieta said if Frazier was unhappy about being hit, “he can come see me and I’ll put a dent in his skull.”

Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro faces what might be NFL’s most unstable job

The Chicago Bears’ most scrutinized offseason storyline rests on the right foot of Eddy Pineiro, the former undrafted kicker who enters Week 1 with a tenuous grip on the starting job.

Tenuous being, perhaps, an understatement.

The Bears’ much-publicized, and sometimes unorthodox, search to replace Cody Parkey (he of “double-doink” fame and eight missed field goals in 2018) ultimately led them to Pineiro, whom Chicago acquired from the Oakland Raiders in May.

Pineiro ended up as the last man standing in a nine-kicker derby that began at the post-draft rookie minicamp, but Chicago’s problem isn’t necessarily solved. Pineiro said on Sunday, after Bears coach Matt Nagy named him the starting kicker for Thursday night’s Green Bay Packers game, that “a big stress has been lifted off my shoulders.”

In reality, having never attempted a field goal in a regular-season game, Pineiro’s stress level is about to get worse.
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The second-year kicker, who turns 24 on Sept. 13, is assured of very little beyond Week 1, and that’s the difficult balancing act for the Bears.6

“Hopefully it’s the arrow-up deal where he hits a few early and he gets his confidence going, and before you know it, he’s on a nice streak. … And if it starts out a little slow or there’s inconsistency, that’s where the challenge of being able to … the frustration of how much it hurts you comes into play.”

The Bears were exceedingly patient with Parkey only to get burned at the worst moment. Most people remember the 43-yard playoff miss against the Philadelphia Eagles, but Parkey, astonishingly, bounced four missed kicks (two field goals, two extra points) off the uprights in a regular-season home game with Detroit.

Chicago stuck with Parkey, who went 3-for-3 on field goals the next week, but the veteran’s accuracy again began to wane as the regular season drew to a close. The Philadelphia disaster made an already uncomfortable situation untenable. Parkey’s ill-advised appearance on a national morning television show days after the Bears’ season ended expedited his departure, which was inevitable.

The Bears cannot let history repeat itself, but they have to be fair to Pineiro.nike jerseys nfl cheap

“Otherwise, we’re just a cat chasing its tail,” Nagy said.

But just how much leeway can a team with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations afford an unproven kicker?

“You look at a lot of good kickers around the league, you’ll see ebbs and flows sometimes earlier in their career — not that that’s our expectation. We also understand sometimes that you have to have patience with this position,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said. “Eddy has the right demeanor. He’s got the right leg talent. The team has really embraced him and we’re happy with the way the whole process played out.”

Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor added: “There have been some other players here that have been really good that missed two of their first four kicks. So the hard part is, if it does happen, when does that take place? … I like how he’s preparing, because he keeps growing, each and every day. And that’s our job to help him with that.”

‘Adaptable’ Patriots’ plan of attack in 2019? Whatever works

Ever since tight end Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement in late March, the hot-button question has been how the New England Patriots will reshape their attack without him.

Josh McDaniels, the architect of the ever-evolving unit, keeps reminding everyone that he doesn’t have the answer right now. He isn’t being evasive as much as highlighting what has made the Patriots one of the most unique offenses in the NFL: a rare adaptability.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

Last season, when the Patriots transformed to a smash-mouth approach in mid-December en route to their sixth Super Bowl championship, is a classic example of it.

“There are still a lot of unknowns, still a lot of bridges you have to cross, a lot of reps we need to take and get better at and improve on,” McDaniels said as the 2019 preseason ended. “There are areas of the game that we will continue to improve on and develop our identity and our team over the course of the regular season, which will be a lot more telling than what I know at this moment.”5

Specific to personnel, McDaniels obviously knows more now than he did in spring practices and training camp.

Four-year veteran Matt LaCosse (career-high 24 catches in 2018) and 2018 seventh-round draft choice Ryan Izzo (rookie season on injured reserve) are the lone tight ends. Veterans Benjamin Watson (four games) and Lance Kendricks (one game) are serving NFL suspensions to open the season.

Fullback James Develin, who played 35% of the offensive snaps last season, also factors significantly into the mix. Even when Gronkowski was on the field last season, and wasn’t often at his peak, Develin became a huge part of the attack.

This was a notable part of NFL Films’ “Do Your Job” special (NFL Network, 8 p.m. ET Wednesday) on the 2018 Patriots — how the offense turned to an old-school formula to turn its season around after back-to-back December losses to the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

“One of the things that I’m so thoroughly impressed with Bill [Belichick] on is his ability to adapt and evolve. He said, ‘If you keep holding on to what [you’d] rather be — no-huddle, spread formations, 34 points per game — then you’re probably going to end up regretting a lot of things at the end of the year. What are we really good at? What’s the most consistent part of our team offensively?’ Then you commit to it,” McDaniels said in the special.