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Yankees’ Troy Tulowitzki ‘a little pumped up’ after homering against Blue Jays

And if he wasn’t sure his actions were enough, Tulowitzki did his share of talking after the Yankees’ 3-0 win.

“That was the team that basically told me I couldn’t play anymore,” Tulowitzki said. “You guys know the story. You know what happened. So yeah. No doubt about it. It was definitely extra, extra special.”

Tulowitzki called the solo shot “the biggest spring training home run I’ve ever hit.”

The intense, raw emotion he spoke with was on display when he rounded the bases, too. Tulowitzki could be seen shouting loudly as he ran the bases, and he did the same when he came back to the dugout, where he was greeted with high fives and hard pats on the back by teammates.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

“Oh, I’ve been thinking about that at-bat for a long, long time,” Tulowitzki said. “So yeah, I got a little pumped up there. But anybody who tells you you’re done, you’re going to have a little extra fire.”5

Following two injury-plagued seasons, the Blue Jays released Tulowitzki, 34, in December. They continue, however, to pay him $38 million over the next three seasons. Although he’s with the Yankees on a league-minimum $555,000 deal, Tulowitzki is still getting paid more by Toronto than any other player currently on the Blue Jays’ roster.

His injury troubles began in 2017, when an ankle sprain cost him much of the second half of that season. Last spring, his heels were the problem. Tulowitzki was forced into having surgery on both to fix bone spur problems. Ultimately, it cost him the entire 2018 season. As a result, Tulowitzki hasn’t played in a regular-season game since July 28, 2017.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“All the rehab that I was doing and all the hours that I put in trying to come back from my surgery, there were a lot of people that said, ‘Forget about it,'” Tulowitzki said. “There were people who said I’d never make it back on a baseball field again.”

Just after he was cut last December, Tulowitzki held workouts that drew interest from multiple teams, including the Yankees, who flew back to where he was training in California to look at him a second time. After that workout, they decided to give him a chance to be their regular shortstop until Didi Gregorius returns from Tommy John surgery.

Mark Glowinski, Indianapolis Colts reach 3-year, $18M extension

The Indianapolis Colts kept Mark Glowinski from becoming a free agent, signing the guard to a contract extension Tuesday. A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the three-year deal is worth $18 million.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Glowinski, who was claimed off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks in 2017, started nine of the 11 games in which he saw action for the Colts in 2018. He became the starting right guard in early October after Matt Slauson sustained a season-ending back injury.6

With Glowinski re-signed, all five starters on the Colts’ offensive line are under contract for the 2019 season. He was the team’s only regular starter not signed through next season.

The Colts’ offensive line allowed just 18 sacks this season — fewest in the NFL. Quarterback Andrew Luck went 239 pass attempts this season without being sacked — the third-longest stretch in NFL history.nfl cheap jerseys nike

Indianapolis’ offense ranked seventh in yards per game (386.2) and sixth in passing yards (278.8).

Colts name former OL coach Howard Mudd as senior offensive assistant

Colts coach Frank Reich is doing his best to make sure his offensive line doesn’t have a drop-off next season.

The Colts have hired longtime offensive line coach Howard Mudd as a senior offensive assistant, the team announced Thursday. Mudd will work with newly hired offensive line coach Chris Strausser and assistant line coach Klayton Adams.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Reich surprised many when he parted ways with Dave DeGuglielmo last month after the Colts’ line gave up an NFL-low 18 sacks and was arguably the league’s best overall unit last season.5

Mudd, who has more than 40 years of NFL experience as a coach, will provide added experience for Strausser, who spent the past two seasons in Denver, first as the offensive tackles coach in 2017 and then assistant offensive line coach last season.

Mudd spent 12 seasons as Indianapolis’ offensive line coach from 1998 to 2009, when the group consistently was ranked as one of the NFL’s best. During that timespan, with Peyton Manning as quarterback, the Colts gave up more than 23 sacks in a season just once. They gave up 15 sacks or less in a season five times.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

That’s all good news for quarterback Andrew Luck and a starting offensive line that’s currently under contract for next season.

The Colts also announced Thursday that Marcus Brady has been promoted from assistant quarterbacks coach to quarterbacks coach.

Hamidou Diallo wins dunk contest; Jayson Tatum best in skills challenge

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo knew he’d have to make an impression to win the slam dunk contest. So he decided to find a way to make the biggest one possible: by dunking over the biggest person in the building.

Wearing a Superman shirt underneath his teal Thunder jersey, Diallo threw down a slam after jumping over 7-foot-1 Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal and then hung on the rim by his elbow to steal the show and come away as the winner of this year’s competition.

Diallo’s dunk was one of the few highlights of a competition that featured some compelling slams — including New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. dunking over rapper J. Cole while wearing Cole’s high school jersey, and Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins jumping over an airplane prop — but also lengthy delays because a few contestants required multiple tries in order to complete their dunks.

Two players — Smith and Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges — failed to convert one of their attempts.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Smith’s failed attempt came on his first dunk in the final round, but he earned a 50 on his second dunk of the final, jumping over Dwyane Wade while getting an alley-oop from Stephen Curry.6

Diallo needed at least a 43 on his second dunk of the final to win the title. After pulling rapper Quavo out of the crowd and having him hold the ball over his head, Diallo leaped over him, took the ball out of his hands and slammed it home to score a 45.

As it turns out, Diallo had actually planned on dunking over Wade, his childhood idol, but when Smith used Wade for his dunk, Diallo switched to Quavo.

“It was great,” Diallo said of winning the competition. “Dennis stole my third dunk. I was going to use D-Wade last. That was my favorite player growing up. But it all worked out.”

The dunk contest was boring enough that the skills challenge — typically the least interesting event of the night — was arguably more compelling.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

That was thanks to the theatrics of Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, who fell behind in each of his three rounds — first to Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley, then to Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, and finally to Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young — but rallied to win each and start the night off with a victory.

Candid Anthony Davis says Celtics part of trade list

That was just one of several jaw-dropping moments during Davis’ 24-minute meeting with the media Saturday. He discussed not only the possibility of playing for the Celtics but also why he would be interested in joining the New York Knicks, the firing of Pelicans general manager Dell Demps on Friday afternoon and why he asked for a trade out of New Orleans in the first place.

“I’m just keeping it real, to be honest,” Davis said with a smile, when asked why he was being so forthright about his future. “I knew that’s all you guys wanted to talk about. I just stated how I feel, stated my intentions, and we’ll go on from there.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The most significant of those stated intentions, however, was Davis’ willingness to go to Boston. With young forwards Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and a plethora of draft picks — most notably a protected first-rounder from the rebuilding Memphis Grizzlies that could become unprotected in 2021 — the Celtics have enough to beat any other team’s realistic offer for Davis.

The one thing that could have stopped them, however, was being unsure of Davis’ willingness to stick around after he can become a free agent in 2020. That, in theory, could have opened the door to Davis’ top destination, the Los Angeles Lakers, where he could play alongside LeBron James and instantly return the Lakers to championship contention. New Orleans, however, was underwhelmed by the Lakers’ collection of young players (Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball) and draft picks, and negotiations became both public and acrimonious on both sides.5

Davis, though, was happy to talk about his future in mid-February. When the Celtics came back up in the wake of him saying they were on his list, Davis repeated a variation of the same phrase — “I never said Boston was not on my list” — three times. He subsequently went on NBA TV and declared that “all 29 teams” were on his list, which ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported before the trade deadline was initially two teams — the Lakers and Knicks — before later expanding to the LA Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks.

“Market [size] doesn’t matter to me,” Davis said. “I just want to win. Big market, small market, it doesn’t matter. My focus is on winning at this point in my career. And wherever that may be, it could be a big market or a small market, I just want to win.”

Davis was asked why he would be interested in playing for the Knicks, who are on his list while sporting the NBA’s second-worst record at 11-47.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

“It’s a great franchise,” Davis said. “Playing obviously at the Garden, the city … but also Milwaukee is on that list, too. It doesn’t matter about big market, small market; it’s about winning for me.

Don’t tell James Conner he’s Steelers’ RB of the future

But James Conner doesn’t exactly feel settled. His 13 touchdowns in 13 games in his first full season as a starter won’t make him ease up. Nor will Le’Veon Bell’s yearlong holdout, which makes Bell likely too caustic for a locker room return.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

In efforts to keep the edge that got him this far, Conner will enter his third season with the hunger of a rookie looking for a job.

“You’ve got to earn it every day,” he said in late December when asked if he’s the tailback of the Steelers’ future. “It’s never enough when you think you’ve done enough. That’s when you start to get on the decline. … You’ve got to earn it every day, practice hard and show you belong. I definitely don’t feel like I’ve done enough yet.”6

That’s exactly what the Steelers like to hear, but Conner is selling himself a bit short. From teammates up to ownership, the Steelers have praised Conner’s development in a sophomore season that included 973 rushing yards, 12 rushing TDs and an AFC Offensive Player of the Month award. Conner added 55 catches for 497 yards in a Steelers offense that relied heavily on the back for easy yardage off dump-offs.

It’s not that Conner hasn’t enjoyed the journey. He savored the moment of his first Pro Bowl, the culmination of what he calls a “fun ride.” The Steelers needed to look no further than the sideline of the Pro Bowl practice fields at Disney’s Wide World of Sports on Thursday, when Conner and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster took selfies with fans in the same row while linebacker T.J. Watt conducted interviews nearby. Three of the team’s top draft picks from 2017 are now All-Stars.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

After surviving Hodgkin’s lymphoma at Pitt to captivate college football, only to outplay his third-round billing, Conner doesn’t overlook his impact on others.

“Did a little reflecting. Pro Bowl is a big honor, just from everything I’ve overcome,” Conner said. “It’s an honor, really, to be a Pro Bowler. From where I’ve come from, being drafted late, overcoming surgeries and diagnosis and things like that. Everybody’s got their own story. I’m just trying to add to mine. It’s cool to be an inspiration to others.”

Steelers’ ‘perfect catch’ turns 10: When Santonio Holmes won a Super Bowl

After Larry Fitzgerald split a sea of Pittsburgh Steelers defenders to give the Arizona Cardinals the lead with 2:37 left in Super Bowl XLIII, Santonio Holmes told himself he wouldn’t be denied again.

He thought of missed opportunities in his football career, from underwhelming performances in meaningful high school games to redshirting during Ohio State’s 2002 national championship season.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

He had to be the difference this time, so he walked up to his quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, who was positioned close to offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, and tapped him on the hip.5

“I said, ‘[No.] 7, I want the ball right now,'” Holmes, 34, recalled of his words before the game-winning drive. “‘No disrespect to the other guys. I want the ball.’ He never said anything. He just threw it to me.”

Ten years ago Friday, Holmes made a play that will forever live in black-and-gold folklore. The freeze frame says it all: Holmes tapping his two feet on the Cardinal-painted end zone as three defenders closed in, securing the ball while bracing for the fall out of bounds from the far corner.

Roethlisberger delivered the kind of throw that inspires shoe ads. The brilliant 6-yard touchdown with 42 seconds left gave the Steelers a 27-23 lead, secured their sixth world championship and changed Holmes’ life forever.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“Millions are watching you. What are you going to do now?” Holmes said about his mentality before the play. “You didn’t ask God to put you in this place for you not to do what you were supposed to do.

From 4-12 to Super Bowl LIII: This Rams’ turnaround is on Sean McVay

The Rams, to that point, did not have a first down in the game. The Saints had seven and were rolling. The Superdome crowd was so loud, the building was shaking. Rams quarterback Jared Goff put tape over the earholes on his helmet to give him a chance to hear anything. His coach, Sean McVay, sent the punting unit out onto the field with instructions not to punt.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

“It goes back to the confidence in the players,” McVay said later. “At that point, I felt like we needed a little bit of momentum.”

Punter Johnny Hekker completed a 12-yard pass to cornerback Sam Shields (no typos there, that’s what actually happened), and something in the game shifted. The Rams would pick up three more first downs on that drive, which ultimately resulted in a field goal and L.A.’s first points of the game.6

“He’s a coach that knows his team,” Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth said in Sunday’s 26-23 overtime win. “He knew we needed to do something to get things going our way, and he believed his team could get it done. That sounds simple, but it’s actually huge.”

A coach can’t coach if he doesn’t know his team, and McVay knows his. Two years into a head-coaching career that began at the inconceivable age of 30, McVay is completely in tune with the roster he already has coached to 26 wins and a conference title. In his short time there, he has helped transform the Rams from a 4-12 mess to a juggernaut. While all of these teams are out here trying to find the “next Sean McVay,” the actual Sean McVay is going to the Super Bowl.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

“Certainly, when we hired him, getting to this part of the mountaintop this soon, that wasn’t something you could imagine,” Rams GM Les Snead said after the game. “The idea was for him to come in and help us create a winning environment, and to create an environment for Jared to succeed. There’s a lot more than goes into a being a head coach than just being a quarterback guru, and obviously we believed he had those qualities.”

Saints, Drew Brees suffer Super disappointment in NFC title game

The top-seeded New Orleans Saints lost their first home playoff game in the Sean Payton/Drew Brees era on Sunday with a 26-23 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game, ending the coach and quarterback’s shot at a second Super Bowl together. Here’s a recap of the season and what’s next:

Season grade: Near perfection. The Saints came oh-so-close to their second Super Bowl trip in franchise history — a long nine years after Payton and Brees first hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy. But the Saints ultimately couldn’t hang on Sunday after jumping to a 13-0 lead — thanks in large part to a controversial no-call by the officials on New Orleans’ final drive of regulation. And it was a call Payton said he and the Saints will “probably never get over.”

The Saints made a great run at it, earning the NFC’s No. 1 seed with a 13-3 record, and the age-defying Brees posted the best passer rating of his career this season before turning 40 on Tuesday. But Brees’ interception on the opening drive of overtime set up the Rams’ game-winning field goal. Said Payton: “Man, I was proud of these guys. It’s been a great season, it’s a great group of guys that’s worked extremely hard. To come off a tough loss like we did last year and put ourselves in this position — right there in a position inside the 10-yard line to go to the Super Bowl — I’m proud of every one of ’em.“cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Season in review: The end was stunning after the Saints felt destined to reach the Super Bowl for most of the season — and for most of Sunday’s game. But now the 2018 season will always be remembered for the officials’ decision to not call pass interference on Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman against Tommylee Lewis in the final minutes of regulation and for Brees’ throwing just his third interception in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome all season when he was hit as he threw on the opening drive of overtime.5

Brees acknowledged the loss was even harder to take, knowing he might not get many more chances like this. But he said, “I plan on being here next year and making another run it.”

Brees’ 18th season was one of his best, as he finished the regular season with an NFL-record completion percentage of 74.4 and career-high passer rating of 115.7. He threw for 249 yards with two TDs and the interception on Sunday. At his hottest point, in the middle of the season, he threw a total of 15 TD passes during a four-game stretch in which the Saints averaged 44 points per game. But it wasn’t just “all Brees, all the time” for one of Payton’s most balanced teams yet. The Saints had five players named either first- or second-team All-Pro for the first time in franchise history — including first-team wide receiver Michael Thomas, who set team records with 125 catches and 1,405 yards. And their run defense finished second in the NFL, led by defensive end Cameron Jordan, defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins and linebacker new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap Demario Davis, among others. The Saints relied on their defense to win several games down the stretch as the offense struggled a bit because of depth issues at receiver and injury issues on the offensive line. The highlight of that defensive surge came when cornerback Marshon Lattimore intercepted two passes in the divisional-round playoff win against Philadelphia.

Unfortunately, that defense couldn’t quite hang on enough after an outstanding start to Sunday’s game. Former Saints receiver Brandin Cooks helped the Rams catch up with two big plays in the second and third quarters. Then, the Rams quickly marched downfield for a game-tying field goal attempt late in regulation and kicked the 57-yard winner in overtime.

Should Broncos’ veterans be worried?

“When you don’t go to the playoffs here, they’re not going to sit around and just stay the same,” is how cornerback Chris Harris Jr. put it at season’s end. “We haven’t been to the playoffs in three years, I think they might think they gave this group a chance. They’re going to go young, that’s what I think. They’re going to go young. … I’ve said it before, everybody who won the Super Bowl is on a non-guaranteed contract, we’ll probably have two or three vets on this team and that’s it.“nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

The 2018 Broncos were already a fairly fresh-faced bunch. With nine picks already in hand for the 2019 draft, they likely have their collective eye on another roster youth movement.

The Broncos had 12 rookies on their Week 17 roster, and 11 of those were in uniform for the regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers. In all, 13 rookies played in a game for the Broncos this past season, and the aim is to build on that class with another solid group in 2019.6

It’s why many of the Broncos’ veterans adjourned with plenty of uncertainty tucked away in their luggage.

The season-ending roster, not including those players who had been moved to injured reserve at some point in 2018, included just 18 players with four or more years of experience. The injured players included Harris, who just finished his eighth season, and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who just finished his ninth.

Among the unrestricted free agents expected to move on are linebacker Shane Ray and cornerback Bradley Roby; both are former first-round picks by the Broncos. Ray said the fact he had been a game-day inactive over the season’s final three weeks made it clear to him he will play elsewhere in 2019.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Nose tackle Domata Peko, who just finished his 13th NFL season, is also among the Broncos’ impending free agents, as are tackle Jared Veldheer, cornerback Tramaine Brock, center Matt Paradis, guard Billy Turner, guard Max Garcia and defensive end Zach Kerr. Of that group, Paradis, who finished the season on injured reserve, and Garcia are former Broncos draft picks.