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How bricks are helping Cowboys receivers improve hand strength

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Colorado Rapids rally for 2-2 draw with LA Galaxy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Belichick on McCourty twins: ‘It’s hard to tell them apart’

Bill Belichick, who has been adept at creating effective disguises on defense over his 43-year coaching career, chuckled when he was asked about the possibilities with identical twin brothers Devin and Jason McCourty.

“It’s hard to tell them apart,” he said, smiling. “Got to take a second look to make sure I’m talking to the right one if they’re not in uniform.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

The McCourtys are one of the NFL’s most notable sets of twins, and what has made 2018 particularly exciting for them is that they have a chance to play together with the New England Patriots. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the last time twins have played together in the regular season on the same professional team was 1926, when Gene and Tom Golsen suited up for the Louisville Colonels.

For the McCourtys, it is the first time they’ve been teammates since their time together at Rutgers from 2006-08.

Jason, who entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2009, has been a steady cornerback with Tennessee (2009-16) and Cleveland (2017).3

Meanwhile, Devin was a first-round pick of the Patriots in 2010 and has been with the franchise since, moving from cornerback to safety in his third season and elevating to captain in his second year.

The brothers talk all the time, but now that conversation can extend to the football field. Devin also notes that Jason’s experience playing for the winless Browns last season — and having never appeared in a playoff game — nike nfl jerseys cheap china brings an important perspective to the locker room.

“It’s something we always dreamed about, kind of thought would happen, but, you know, you kind of second-guess that and think maybe not,” Devin said. “I know he’s been a good player throughout his career, aside from us being twins or any of that. I thought he had a good year in Cleveland that helped him, and I thought a change of scenery might help him here. I think he has an opportunity to help us, as a veteran, a guy that’s played a lot of football, been in different circumstances.”

Has Matt Harvey made himself into a quality trade target?

“It’s a good sign that I can go out and not feel great and kind of be out of whack and still limit damage,” Harvey said. “But today was definitely a struggle and I’m happy to get through it.”

It’s no small point. By the end of Harveys’ tenure with the New York Mets, those small struggles tended to turn into raging dumpster fires. When you look at where Harvey was by the time the Mets designated him for assignment back in May, cheap nfl nike jerseys free shipping routine outings such as the one Saturday have to be looked at as positive data points.

For one thing, it was the fourth straight outing in which Harvey pitched into at least the sixth inning and he hasn’t given up more than three runs in any of his past five outings. Over his 11 starts for the Reds, Harvey is 4-3 with a 3.79 ERA. He has struck out 6.7 batters per nine innings and has whiffed over three batters for every one he has walked. From a results standpoint, Saturday’s performance was an ebb in his momentum. But only an ebb.

“He was laboring a little bit,” Reds manager Jim Riggleman said. “But he made the necessary pitches to minimize the damage. Kept that one inning to two runs. He put us right where we wanted to be.”

Under the hood, things look even more promising for Harvey’s revival than his overall Cincinnati stat line. First, there’s those past five outings: He’s 3-1 and would be 4-1 if not for the Reds’ bullpen meltdown Saturday. His ERA is 2.48. The strikeout rate is still more of that of a finesse pitcher (6.2), but his strikeouts-to-walks ratio is up to four and he hasn’t given up a home run in a month. The trend is good.59

“I do think that his slider has been better as the season has gone along, from the time that he joined us,” Riggleman said. “And as good as he’s throwing the ball, he’s more pitching now and really using the slider to get the strikeout. He wasn’t striking people out that first month.”

The results are solid, to be sure. No, they aren’t Harvey circa 2013, when he struck out more than a batter per inning and had the lowest home run rate in the National League. That guy had Tommy John surgery in 2014 and a procedure for thoracic outlet syndrome in 2016. This guy, though, is at least revving up his stuff to the point where we can believe he used to be the other guy, the one with the catchy superhero nickname.

“I am healthy,” Harvey said. “Definitely. Feeling healthy. I’m two years out from surgery now, so it’s been a lot of work to get to where I am now, but everything feels good.”

Much of Harvey’s velocity is back and, seemingly, it’s not going anywhere. His fastball has been sitting at 93-94 mph for each of these past five starts, and in each of them he has topped out at over 96. The bite on his slider is better — his six highest scores for average break length have come over his past six starts. As a result, Harvey’s chase rates are up, he’s getting more swinging strikes overall, he has stayed in the zone more consistently and stayed far more efficient with his pitch counts.cheap new nike nfl jerseys

“I’ve been doing that for five or six starts,” Harvey said when asked about his improved stuff. “That’s what happens when you feel good and everything is coming out fine.”

England’s Jamie Vardy ‘looking doubtful’ to face Sweden – Southgate

England forward Jamie Vardy is “looking doubtful” to be able to face Sweden in the World Cup quarterfinal on Saturday, said coach Gareth Southgate, who also expressed concerned over “two or three” other players.

Vardy, who entered as a substitute against Colombia in the round of 16, picked up a groin strain and needed an injection, leaving him uncertain for the next game.

Southgate compared the trainer’s room to a “scene from M*A*S*H*”, though he also believes that the other seven teams left in the competition have similar concerns.nike jerseys nfl cheap

“Vardy didn’t train today, so is looking doubtful for this game,” Southgate said on Thursday. “But we’ll know a bit more tomorrow, really. The others were all on the pitch. We didn’t do a lot.

“I think at this stage, minimal time on the pitch, a lot of our information is going to have to be in meetings. Because it really is as much about recovery, physical and psychological, as everything else.

“The downside of that is we can’t push the players enough today to see whether they’re OK. So we’ll know more tomorrow. We’ll have to make late decisions. I think every team will be in the same boat on that.”36

Southgate was more confident on the fitness of Dele Alli, Ashley Young and Kyle Walker, however.

“Dele was absolutely fine after the game, didn’t feel anything. I think the extra couple of days were really helpful for him,” Southgate said. “Had he gone into the last one a bit earlier he might have come out of the game feeling something. He was fine.

“Young and Walker, we’ve no reason to believe they’re serious issues. They were back on their feet today. But equally there might be a couple of others, who until they’re extending themselves a bit more.

“I think when you’ve had a long game like that, you don’t know until you’ve really started to extend in training again exactly what you might be carrying.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“But our feeling is, certainly nothing serious, but two or three in particular that we’ve probably got to assess quite closely tomorrow and see exactly what level they’re at. Again, because we’ve got good players to come in.

“So if we’ve got players that are 75 percent, then the guys who haven’t been in the team deserve to come in and be at 100 percent.”

Angels LHP Lamb latest on team sidelined by Tommy John surgery

Los Angeles Angels lefthander John Lamb will have Tommy John surgery, the team announced Saturday.

Lamb becomes the fourth pitcher on the squad this season to have the season-ending surgery for a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform the surgery in Los Angeles.

Lamb had started three games for the Angels after being called up June 16 and had a 7.20 ERA in 10 innings pitched.nike nfl jerseys for cheap

He lasted just an inning and two-thirds in his most recent outing against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, allowing five runs, three earned, on six hits and a pair of walks. He went on the DL the next day.19

Lamb joins teammates Garrett Richards, Blake Wood and Keynan Middleton in undergoing the surgery this season.

Righthander Jake Jewell underwent successful right ankle surgery Friday. Jewell broke the ankle as he ran in to cover home plate Wednesday in a game against the Red Sox.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

The team estimated a six-month recovery time for Jewell.

Also Friday, shortstop Zack Cozart had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The team estimated a six- to eight-month recovery for Cozart.

Warriors withstand James’ 51 points to win NBA Finals Game 1

Stephen Curry scored 29 points and the Warriors capitalized on Smith’s mistake that sent the game into overtime, overcoming a 51-point performance by James to beat Cleveland 124-114 in Game 1 on Thursday night.

The game nearly over, James jawed with both Curry and Klay Thompson, then Tristan Thompson and Draymond Green tangled moments later and made contact. After replay review, Tristan Thompson received a Flagrant 2 foul and ejection with 2.6 seconds left.authentic cheap nfl jerseys

James was in utter disbelief as regulation ended stunningly: George Hill made the first of two free throws with 4.7 seconds left after being fouled by Klay Thompson, but when Smith secured the rebound of the second, he dribbled back toward halfcourt instead of shooting, apparently thinking the Cavs had a lead.

”He thought it was over. He thought we were up one,” coach Tyronn Lue said.24

Yet Smith insisted he knew the score. Green figured Smith was simply looking for James, saying, ”I would have looked for LeBron, too.”

”I just thought we were going to call a timeout. Because I got the rebound, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t shoot it over KD,” Smith said of Kevin Durant. ”If I thought we were ahead, I would have just held on to the ball so they could foul me. Clearly that wasn’t the case.”

Instead, OT.nike nfl jerseys for sale

And why not? Both these teams were pushed to their limits in seven-game conference finals they each had to win on the road.

”I can’t talk about a situation that way because I do some dumb stuff on the court,” Durant said of how the fourth quarter finished. ”I don’t know what was going through J.R.’s head. He made a great rebound and gave them an opportunity to win the basketball game.”

Game 2 is Sunday night back at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors have won 18 of their last 19 postseason games. In 2015, when the Golden State beat the Cavs to capture the franchise’s first title in 40 years, the first two games of the series went to OT – Golden State winning the opener and Cleveland Game 2.

James shot 19 for 32 to go with eight assists and eight rebounds in the opener of his eighth straight NBA Finals and ninth overall, as well as Cavs-Warriors Take IV. James notched his eighth 40-point game during this playoff run to tie Hall of Famer Jerry West’s feat in 1965 for most in a single postseason.

”We’ve got to move on,” James said. ”This game is over and done with. We had opportunities.”

James drove past Curry for a three-point play with 50 seconds remaining in the fourth. But James was given a foul following a review with 36.4 seconds left and Durant converted a pair of free throws to tie it at 104.

The call had initially been a charge on 2017 finals MVP Durant and James protested the change – while KD said afterward he thought it was the right decision because ”I knew he was late on the drive and I knew I had my man beat and he came over a little late.”

LEADING OFF: Dodgers’ Buehler makes 1st start, Bryant rests

START HIM UP

Prized Dodgers prospect Walker Buehler makes his first big league start, taking on visiting Miami. The 23-year-old righty reached the majors last September and had a 7.71 ERA in eight relief appearances.cheap chinese authentic nfl jerseys Buehler was a first-round draft pick in 2015. He’s getting this chance because starter Rich Hill is on the disabled list with a cracked fingernail.

REST HELPS

The Cubs are off, meaning slugger Kris Bryant gets to heal from a beaning. He had a cut above his eye, caused by his sunglasses, after a fastball from Colorado’s German Marquez hit off helmet Sunday. The team said Bryant passed tests and had no sign of a concussion. The 2016 NL MVP is hitting .319 with two home runs and 11 RBIs. The Cubs next play on Tuesday night at Cleveland.

”As good as can be expected,” manager Joe Maddon said after Chicago’s 9-7 win. ”I haven’t heard the word concussion yet, so hopefully good.”

ASCENDING ASTROS263

Fresh off sweeping a three-game series from the White Sox and outscoring them 27-2, the World Series champion Astros return home to face the Angels, having won six in a row. Gerrit Cole is 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA over four starts in his first season for Houston, striking out 41 in 28 innings. Shohei Ohtani is scheduled to pitch the second game of the series on Tuesday night for Los Angeles.

STREAKS

Twins star Brian Dozier has set a team record with a 16-game hitting string to begin a season. He passed the 15-gamers by Kirby Puckett (1994) and Josh Willingham (2012). Dating to last year, Dozier has a hit in 23 straight games.chinese made nfl jerseys He’ll try to extend the streak when Minnesota opens a series against Masahiro Tanaka at Yankee Stadium. … Indians righty Carlos Carrasco is 9-0 with a 1.75 ERA over his past 11 starts since Aug. 27. He pitches the series finale at Baltimore