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First-round receivers come to the NFL with high expectations [url=http://www.brownscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-ozzie-newsome-jersey]Ozzie Newsome Jersey[/url] , especially when selected in the top five. Titans receiver Corey Davis, the fifth overall pick a year ago, failed to live up to those expectations. So will he in 2018?

It’s way too early to know, especially with the impact of a coaching change. Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com recently explained that Davis was “one of the stars during the early portion of offseason work,” but that Davis was limited late in the process.

Writes Wyatt: “Davis looked smooth during the offseason, snatching the ball out of the air with ease in traffic. He went up high to make some spectacular catches.”

Last year, Davis appeared in 11 games with nine starts. He had only 34 catches for 375 yards and no touchdowns. In a pair of postseason starts, Davis had nine catches for 98 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Perhaps the most tangible indication of hope for 2018 comes from Davis scoring twice against the Patriots.

As the Titans try to build on an unlikely berth in the NFL’s final eight, anything more they can get from Davis will help. If he consisted plays like he did in the last game of the campaign [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-nick-o_leary-jersey]Nick O'Leary Jersey[/url] , Davis will be helping the Titans a lot.

Though Eric Wood can finally say he's retired, the now-former Buffalo Bills center is unaccustomed to discussing his career in the past tense.

On Monday, for example, Wood was still referring to this spring as "the offseason," while attending Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly's charitable foundation golf tournament outside of Buffalo.

"It's so funny. I find myself referring to it as the offseason and we're making travel plans that aren't slotted for just the five weeks off in the summer," Wood said, referring to the break players traditionally get between the final spring practice and the start of training camp.

"It's different for sure," he added, while discussing his retirement for the first time since being diagnosed with a career-ending neck injury in January.

"I feel great [url=http://www.texanscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-kareem-jackson-jersey]Kareem Jackson Jersey[/url] ," Wood said, noting he's already dropped about 55 pounds from his 310-pound playing weight.

"The body feels good. Can't play ball, which stinks. And I miss it," he added. "There's been a lot of times this spring where I've seen pictures posted and you think, 'Well, that's my team.'

"But, it's all good."

Wood never envisioned his playing days would end so abruptly nine seasons into his NFL career, and after signing a two-year contract extension last summer.

Instead, team doctors ruled he would never be allowed to play again after end-of-season tests revealed Wood had two disks being dangerously close to his spinal cord. Wood received the news while he was in the delivery room with his wife [url=http://www.bearscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-kevin-white-jersey]Kevin White Jersey[/url] , and about an hour before the birth of his second child, a son.

"It was shocking," he said, noting his first reaction was to seek a second opinion. "But ultimately there was no scenario for return to play."

Wood revealed the severity of the injury during a news conference in January. He was not, however, allowed to say he was officially retiring due to contractual issues that could have prevented Wood from retaining his bonus money until the Bills finally released the 32-year-old on Thursday.

He hasn't yet laid out any future plans, though Wood will always be a Bills fan after being selected by Buffalo in the first round of the 2009 draft out of Louisville.

Wood is following the team online and in social media. He laughed over the uproar on Twitter amid reports rookie first-round draft pick Josh Allen threw an interception during practice last week.

A respected team leader, one thing Wood will miss is mentoring younger players.

He also expressed concern regarding good friend and former teammate Richie Incognito, who has had a tumultuous offseason. Incognito abruptly retired by posting a note on Twitter before the Bills granted his request to be released to potentially sign with another team weeks later.

Then [url=http://www.broncoscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-justin-simmons-jersey]Justin Simmons Jersey[/url] , Incognito spent three days in a Florida mental hospital after he allegedly threw weights and tennis balls at gym employees and another patron and told police officers the government was spying on him two weeks ago.

"He's going through a tough time right now," Wood said. "We're praying for him, and I know he'll come out of this a good man."

On the bright side, Wood has come to terms with how his career ended and the consolation that it happened after a season in which the Bills snapped a 17-year playoff drought. His final game was a 10-3 loss to Jacksonville in an AFC wild-card playoff on Jan. 7.

"Yeah, that playoff berth was very sweet," Wood said. "It would've been very tough my career ending and not ever making the playoffs up here."

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The Arizona Cardinals say they were aware before they drafted him that wide receiver Christian Kirk had been arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and property damage.

Azcentral reported the arrest and the Cardinals' reaction to it.

The arrest occurred outside the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament on Feb. 3. Scottsdale police said Kirk was with a group that was intoxicated and throwing rocks at cars.

Azcentral quoted a Cardinals spokesman as saying that team officials spoke to Kirk at length about the incident and it is the team's understanding that the matter "will be resolved in the near future." The case is pending and the team spokesman said there would be no further comment.

The Cardinals drafted Kirk in the second round. He was a standout at Saguaro High in Scottsdale and played at Texas A&M.

The Patriots have parted ways with a couple of wide receivers recently and the departures of Malcolm Mitchell and Jordan Matthews have opened a door for a new addition to make a bid for playing time.

Eric Decker signed with the team last week and some veterans have had short stays in New England in the past because they didn’t make a quick transition to the Patriots system. On Tuesday [url=http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-tashaun-gipson-jersey]Tashaun Gipson Jersey[/url] , head coach Bill Belichick said he thinks Decker’s acclimation to the team will be helped by the fact that he played for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels when McDaniels was the head coach of the Broncos.

“Yeah, I’m sure it will [url=http://www.lionscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-kerryon-johnson-jersey]Kerryon Johnson Jersey[/url] ,” Belichick said in comments distributed by the team. “Well, he’s a smart guy. I know he has recall from some of the things that we do that Josh did at Denver that are carryover. There’s a lot of differences [url=http://www.texanscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-deandre-hopkins-jersey]DeAndre Hopkins Jersey[/url] , but there’s certainly a lot of carryover.”

McDaniels was fired 12 games into Decker’s rookie season and Decker didn’t get a ton of playing time as a rookie, so the duo didn’t have much time together. Belichick said the coaches have to find “some things you can build on and take advantage of and connect to” with players who have a history with the staff and that will be part of the process with Decker in the coming weeks.

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The Detroit Lions have designated defensive end Ziggy Ansah as their franchise player.

The Lions announced the decision Tuesday. Ansah [url=http://www.pantherscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-james-bradberry-jersey]James Bradberry Jersey[/url] , a first-round draft pick in 2013, has 44 sacks in five years with Detroit, including 12 this past season.

Ansah hasn't played a full 16 games since the 2015 season, but while his health has been an issue [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-marshall-newhouse-jersey]Marshall Newhouse Jersey[/url] , he can still be an elite pass rusher. He had three sacks in a game three times last season, against the Giants, Bengals and Packers.

The franchise tag buys the Lions and Ansah until mid-July to reach agreement on a long-term contract. Otherwise, he'll play on a one-year deal and make the average of the top five players at his position in 2018.

49ers linebacker Reuben Foster spent time this offseason facing charges of domestic violence that led to an agreement that he’d stay away from the team pending their resolution and thoughts that his NFL career might be over.

After his accuser recanted her accusations at a pre-trial hearing [url=http://www.bengalscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-vincent-rey-jersey]Vincent Rey Jersey[/url] , a judge ruled there was not enough evidence for Foster to stand trial and Foster rejoined the team. Foster said Saturday that he got the message from the team that he would have been released had the charges held up and called the experience an educational one for him.

“It was a big learning experience,” Foster said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “I learn from every mistake, everything that’s said [url=http://www.texanscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-jon-weeks-jersey]Jon Weeks Jersey[/url] , all my flaws. I learned from a lot of things and just grew from it. It made me appreciate football a lot better. It was crazy, knowing that football can be gone. Being back on this field with my brothers and these coaches, man, is a blessing.”

He’ll still serve a two-game suspension after pleading no contest to a weapons charge and entering a diversion program after a marijuana possession arrest in Alabama. Foster called that outcome a “painful” one [url=http://www.texanscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-will-fuller-v-jersey]Will Fuller V Jersey[/url] , but there were moments where it looked like Foster’s off-field actions would cost him a lot more than two games.

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The NFL is desperate to get #BackToFootball. Except [url=http://www.broncoscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-ronald-leary-jersey]Ronald Leary Jersey[/url] , of course, when it isn’t.

Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill openly supports — via his team’s official website — the appointment of high school classmate Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. Although Bidwill’s quotes and the letter he has signed supporting Kavanaugh says nothing about politics and espouses no political causes or ideologies, everything about the appointment of a Supreme Court justice is political.

Bidwill’s support for Kavanaugh comes at a time when players advocating political causes routinely are told to “stick to football,” and the league seems willing only to listen to a vocal minority of fans on the hotly-contested national anthem issue. Bidwill’s gesture follows last year’s effort by Broncos G.M. John Elway to publicly support the candidacy of Neil Gorsuch, the most recent justice appointed to the Supreme Court. (And, yes [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-kelvin-benjamin-jersey]Kelvin Benjamin Jersey[/url] , Elway said, “Take the politics out of football” only six months later.)

Regardless of political views, the point here is that the NFL and its fans shouldn’t be able to have it both aways. If it’s OK for owners to advocate political causes, it should be OK for players to do the same, without consequence.

And if it’s regarded as “bad for business” when players push their political interests on company time, it should be regarded as “bad for business” for an owner to use his team’s official online media platform to do the same.

It will be interesting to see whether other owners follow Bidwill’s lead in the coming days and weeks [url=http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-calais-campbell-jersey]Calais Campbell Jersey[/url] , and whether players will have something to say about this apparent double standard.

Bucs right tackle Demar Dotson had knee surgery in April to repair his meniscus. Two months later, Dotson said he is right on schedule.

“I’m feeling good,” Dotson said, via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. “. . . This is more of a precaution than anything, giving me time to get it back. I don’t have any issues about it. As a veteran move, take your time [url=http://www.broncoscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-steve-atwater-jersey]Steve Atwater Jersey[/url] , get yourself feeling as good as you can go.”

Dotson, 32, expects to start running in a few days. That means he should return in time for training camp.

“I’m feeling good about it,” he said. “The coach is feeling good about it, the training room is feeling good about it. So I think we’re good.”

He’s got his weight back to 305 on his way to the 310 he played last season after he got as low as 280.

Dotson finished last season on injured reserve with a torn posterior cruciate ligament, missing the final five games.

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The Tennessee Titans hired Houston defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel as their new coach in a fast search that wrapped up after three interviews and just five days after firing Mike Mularkey.

The Titans announced Saturday they have agreed to terms with Vrabel. A news conference was scheduled for Monday.

Vrabel was the first person Tennessee interviewed after firing Mularkey on Monday. Mularkey [url=http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-blake-bortles-jersey]Blake Bortles Jersey[/url] , who also coached Buffalo and Jacksonville, went 21-22 and led the franchise to its first playoff victory in 14 years . This will be Vrabel’s first head coaching job after 18 years in the NFL – 14 as a player and four as a coach.

Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement it was easy to see Vrabel’s commanding presence and relationship with general manager Jon Robinson. The GM got his start in the NFL as a scout with the New England Patriots, where Vrabel won three Super Bowls as a linebacker.

OLYMPICS

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Conservative activists burned a large photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as the head of the North’s extremely popular girl band passed by them Monday during her visit to Seoul amid a flurry of cooperation between the rivals ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics in the South.

Hyon Song Wol, a Pyongyang celebrity who heads the Moranbong Band hand-picked by Kim, began a two-day visit on Sunday [url=http://www.coltscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-andrew-luck-jersey]Andrew Luck Jersey[/url] , triggering media frenzy in South Korea about the woman who is also in charge of the North’s artistic performance during the Olympics.

It has been rare for such a high-profile North Korean figure to travel to South Korea in recent years as they saw their ties deteriorating over the North Korean nuclear standoff before they recently abruptly sought to improve ties this month ahead of the Feb. 9-25 Olympics.

UNDATED (AP) – Longtime USA Hockey executive and U.S. Olympic men’s hockey general manager Jim Johannson died unexpectedly Sunday at age 53, shocking the sport less than three weeks before the start of the Pyeongchang Games.

Johannson died in his sleep at his home in Colorado Springs, according to USA Hockey. His death came in the midst of the most high-profile role in his career: putting together the U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team without NHL players going to South Korea, a position he relished after doing so at several world junior and world championships.

With the NHL out of the Olympics for the first time since 1994, Johannson was excited about putting together a 25-man roster that would include ”25 great stories.” He picked Tony Granato as coach and on Jan. 1 unveiled a diverse roster made up of players from European professional leagues, the American Hockey League and the NCAA.

Johannson was proud of the unheralded roster [url=http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-dj-chark-jersey]DJ Chark Jersey[/url] , one that will now try to capture a gold medal for him.

”I think it would be huge,” former USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean said by phone. ”If we ever had a `Win one for the Gipper’ moment, this is it.”

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) – High-flying high school power forward Zion Williamson has committed to Duke, giving the Blue Devils the nation’s three top-rated college prospects.

Williamson is a 6-foot-6, 275-pound forward from Spartanburg who’s rated second among high school players by ESPN. He picked Duke on Saturday over Clemson [url=http://www.brownscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-trevon-coley-jersey]Trevon Coley Jersey[/url] , Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina.

It was thought in recent weeks that Williamson was focused on his home-state schools of Clemson and South Carolina – the Tigers because they were the first school to heavily recruit Williamson and the Gamecocks because earlier this month they signed former Louisville recruit Brian Bowen Jr.

Instead, Williamson joined a powerhouse young class that includes top-rated R.J. Barrett and third-rated Cam Reddish – both 6-foot-7 forwards – and point guard Tre Jones, ranked 10th. Those three have signed with Duke.

Tyler Eifert said two weeks ago that he was on schedule in his rehab from back surgery and feeling good. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis sounded less optimistic about Eifert’s progress, expressing surprise the tight end sat out Tuesday’s minicamp practice.

“As time goes on [url=http://www.lionscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-anthony-zettel-jersey]Anthony Zettel Jersey[/url] , when we start to play football, then we will have an idea of where he is,” Lewis said, via Paul Dehner of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Eifert has played only 24 of a possible 64 games in his four seasons. He lasted two games last season before undergoing back surgery.

Eifert caught five touchdowns in eight games in 2016 and had 13 in 13 games during the 2015 season. His red-zone success prompted the Bengals to re-sign Eifert to a one-year deal this offseason.

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The NFL still has some work to do on explaining to players how the new rule against lowering their helmets will be enforced.

That was apparent when Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter talked to PFT today at training camp in Minnesota. Hunter said he hasn’t heard anything about how the new rule will be enforced [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-chris-ivory-jersey]Chris Ivory Jersey[/url] , or what players are expected to do differently this year.

Hunter did say, however, that he tries not to initiate contact with his helmet regardless of what the rules say.

“I play with my hands and eyes. I try to keep my helmet out of it because that’s something that can hurt you,” Hunter said.

That’s what the NFL wants players to say, but the league needs to make sure players know exactly what the letter of the law is. The rules have changed, but not every player knows that.

Deandre Ayton is having no problem with the competition or the schedule at the NBA level.

Ayton outplayed a fellow top rookie big man for the second time, keeping the Phoenix Suns undefeated in preliminary play in Las Vegas.

Another full day of basketball Monday, highlighted by Ayton against Orlando’s Mo Bamba in a matchup of unbeaten teams, was the third game in four days for the 20 teams in action at the NBA Summer League. The games are shorter than a regular NBA game – 40 minutes instead of 48 – and there’s no travel [url=http://www.bengalscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-jordan-willis-jersey]Jordan Willis Jersey[/url] , but it’s still a lot of action in a short amount of time.

Some teams even gave players a rest day during the stretch of games, knowing there will be more ahead. Every team is guaranteed five games, with the possibility of playing as many as eight games in 12 days.

Ayton didn’t look like he needed a break after scoring 17 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the Suns’ 71-53 victory over the Magic. The No. 1 pick said it was his first victory over Bamba, the No. 6 pick, after he beat fellow high school teammate and No. 2 selection Marvin Bagley III on Saturday.

”With all the excitement and all the fans coming out here, it just really made me a lot more comfortable,” Ayton said in an interview on NBA TV. ”And I just want to put on a show for them to be honest and just win as many games as I play.”

There won’t be any more for Bagley, as the Sacramento Kings announced that an MRI revealed a pelvic bone bruise. The Kings said Bagley would rest for a week or two.

Monday was the last of the 10-game slates on the campus of UNLV. There are only five games Tuesday before teams are seeded for tournament play that begins Wednesday.

Monday’s summaries:

SUNS 71, MAGIC 53

Dragan Bender and Shaquille Harrison each scored 11 points for the Suns (3-0). Davon Reed and Jack Cooley had 10 apiece [url=http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-calais-campbell-jersey]Calais Campbell Jersey[/url] , while Josh Jackson managed nine after shooting 3 for 13.

Bamba had five rebounds and five blocks, but took just four shots and scored four points. Jonathan Issac led the Magic (2-1) with 10 points.

CAVALIERS 93, PACERS 88

Cedi Osman scored 25 points and No. 8 pick Collin Sexton added 21 for the Cavaliers (2-1). Billy Preston finished with 12 points on a day Ante Zizic rested.

TJ Leaf scored 20 points for the Pacers (1-2). Alize Johnson added 16, Edmond Sumner had 14 and rookie Aaron Holiday had 12 points and eight assists but also eight turnovers.

THUNDER 92, RAPTORS 82

Rashawn Thomas and PJ Dozier scored 17 points apiece for the Thunder (2-1), who have won two straight games after losing their first 11 games in the Summer League, dating to when the franchise was based in Seattle. Thomas also grabbed 12 rebounds.

Kevin Hervey added 12 points and Dakari Johnson finished with 10 while also getting into an exchange with Toronto’s OG Anunoby in which both received technical fouls.

Anunoby finished with 19 points and Malachi Richardson had 17 for the Raptors (0-3).

PISTONS 105, PELICANS 97

Henry Ellenson had 13 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as Detroit (1-2) avoided going winless in preliminary play. The former lottery pick also had two steals but committed six turnovers.

Bruce Brown and Khyri Thomas each added 12 points for the Pistons.

Cheick Diallo scored 25 points in the Pelicans’ first loss in Las Vegas. Walter Lemmon Jr. and Shavon Shields each finished with 14 points for New Orleans (2-1).

WIZARDS 87 [url=http://www.bengalscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-josh-shaw-jersey]Josh Shaw Jersey[/url] , 76ERS 75

Troy Brown Jr. scored 23 points and Devin Robinson had 22 to help the Wizards (1-2) win the game matching teams that entered play winless.

Thomas Bryant finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Furkan Korkmaz, who had a 40-point game earlier this week, was 0 for 9 from the field and finished with one point for the 76ers (0-3). Rookie Zhaire Smith was 1 for 9 for two points.

Chris McCullough led Philadelphia with 20 points.

CELTICS 100, HORNETS 80

Jabari Bird and Jarrod Uthoff each scored 16 points for the Celtics (2-1). Guerschon Yabusele had 14 points and eight rebounds, and Semi Ojeleye chipped in 13 points and seven boards.

Rookie Robert Williams III sat out with a bruised left knee.

Rookie Miles Bridges scored 20 points for the Hornets (2-1). Willy Hernangomez had 17 points and 11 rebounds.

MAVERICKS 91, WARRIORS 71

Phil Greene scored 16 points in the Mavericks‘ easy victory. Mitchell Creek added 13 points.

Dennis Smith Jr. sat out for the Mavericks (2-1) on the day No. 3 pick Luka Doncic signed his contract.

Josh Magette and Kendrick Nunn were the only players in double figures with 10 points for the Warriors (1-2), who rested Jordan Bell.

NUGGETS 90, BUCKS 83

Monte Morris led the unbeaten Nuggets (3-0) with 20 points and eight assists.

Sterling Brown scored 27 points, going 11 of 18 from the field [url=http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-justin-blackmon-jersey]Justin Blackmon Jersey[/url] , for the Bucks (1-2).

ROCKETS 104, CLIPPERS 90

De’Anthony Melton scored 26 points, making five 3-pointers, to keep the Rockets (3-0) unbeaten.

Melton added 10 rebounds and five assists, while Vincent Edwards added 20 points and eight boards. Zhou Qi finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots.

Rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 25 points for the Clippers (1-2), while Vincent Hunter had 20. Sindarius Thornwell was 3 for 13 but scored 13 points.

TIMBERWOLVES 78, NETS 69

Jared Terrell scored 13 points and rookies Josh Okogie and Keita Bates-Diop each had 11 for the Timberwolves (2-1).

Amile Jefferson finished with 12 rebounds and four blocks for Minnesota in a game where both teams shot about 35 percent.

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Thon Maker is having his biggest games at the biggest time of the year.

Not bad for a bench guy and someone who [url=http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-lerentee-mccray-jersey]Lerentee McCray Jersey[/url] , as recently as last week, was a roster afterthought.

Maker had never blocked five shots in any NBA game before this postseason began – and now he’s blocked that many in each of the last two playoff contests for the Milwaukee Bucks. There’s an old coaching adage that tells players to stay ready, because they never know when their chance to make an impact has arrived.

Maker is proving that axiom to be correct.

”Just trying to be there for my teammates, playing aggressive,” said Maker, the Bucks’ backup center. ”It’s the playoffs. These are the moments everybody plays for. You’ve got to find a way to win, you’ve got to find a way to impact the game. I try to do that every single time.”

Maker is almost an out-of-nowhere story for the Bucks, who’ve pulled even with the Boston Celtics four games into their Eastern Conference first-round series in large part because of a defensive resurgence by the bench. His offense has helped, too: Maker scored 14 points in a Game 3 victory, his highest total since a 16-point effort on New Year’s Day.

There have been some big games from reserve players in these playoffs already: Miami has gotten games of 28 and 25 points from Dwyane Wade and a 26-point effort from Kelly Olynyk, Philadelphia has seen Marco Belinelli reach 21 points twice so far [url=http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-dede-westbrook-jersey]Dede Westbrook Jersey[/url] , and Boston saw Greg Monroe get a double-double against the Bucks in only 23 minutes.

Backups can find themselves in the spotlight quickly if they get hot.

”When we step on the floor, we need to be assertive with what we do,” Bucks coach Joe Prunty said. ”We can’t be a step behind.”

Even the greatest players need help.

LeBron James said everyone on the Cavaliers‘ roster – himself included – needed to play better after falling behind Indiana 2-1 in their series. So in Game 4, James was great with 32 points, and Jordan Clarkson had 12 of the bench’s 32 points to help Cleveland tie the series .

”I’m supposed to come and give a spark off the bench,” said Clarkson, who scored just two points in Game 3. ”That’s what I’m supposed to do, change the game in that way.”

Toronto had one of the top bench units in the NBA during the regular season, ranking fifth in the league with a combined 41.8 scoring average. But in the East’s No. 1 seed’s first-round series, the Raptors‘ reserve scoring down to 34.5 points.

They’re tied at 2 in the series with the eighth-seeded Washington Wizards, whose bench scoring is up in the series by about the same margin to 34.3 points. The Wizards were just 16th in bench scoring this season.

A big reason for Toronto’s problems has been the absence of backup point guard Fred VanVleet [url=http://www.bearscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-dan-skuta-jersey]Dan Skuta Jersey[/url] , who has an injured right shoulder and played just three minutes so far, sitting out three of the four games entirely. Raptors coach Dwane Casey blamed his team’s high turnover totals – 37 over Games 3 and 4, both losses – in large part on his reserves, who he also thought were not as productive with the ball as they could have been.

”The second unit turned down some shots that they normally take,” Casey said. ”I thought that group started the turnovers. The levee broke on those guys. I’ve got to do a better job of putting them in the right situation where they don’t turn it over.”

The Wizards tinkered with their rotations to try to keep the Raptors’ reserves in check.

”Our bench has done a good job and we’ve kind of tried to change things up and throw maybe a starter or two with our bench,” Washington coach Scott Brooks said.

As for the Celtics, they’re back in Boston to get ready to host the Bucks on Tuesday night for Game 5. Their frontcourt reserves of Monroe and Marcus Morris were dominant in the series’ second game last week, when it looked as if Boston might pull off a sweep.

Milwaukee’s reserves have pushed back with active, physical play – matching Boston’s intensity.

”As soon as (we) see that,” Maker said, ”we start to get aggressive as well on the defensive end.”



AP Sports Writers Howard Fendrich and Michael Marot contributed to this story.




The Patriots have posted their first depth chart of the year [url=http://www.bengalscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-preston-brown-jersey]Preston Brown Jersey[/url] , and the biggest hole on the roster will for now be filled by a very, very big man.

Six-foot, eight-inch Trent Brown, officially weighing 380 pounds, appears on the first depth chart of the preseason as the starting left tackle. If Brown keeps that assignment, he’ll be the Week One successor to Nate Solder, who signed as a free agent with the Giants.

Elsewhere on the offensive side of the depth chart, Chris Hogan and Julian Edelman are listed as the starting receivers, with Phillip Dorsett the backup to Hogan and Eric Decker and Malcolm Mitchell listed as the backups to Edelman. Decker, who officially joined the team on Friday, already has skipped past Kenny Britt and Cordarrelle Patterson. Someone will be replacing Edelman in the starting lineup for the first four games of the regular season [url=http://www.ramscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-jacob-mcquaide-jersey]Jacob McQuaide Jersey[/url] , while he serves a suspension under the PED policy.

At running back, rookie first-rounder Sony Michel appears as the backup to Rex Burkhead, with James White as the other starter. Free-agent arrival Jeremy Hill lands at No. 3 behind Michel. Mike Gillislee is the backup to White.

Defensively, the McCourty twins make up half of the starting secondary, with Devin listed as a starting safety and Jason, in his first year with the team, named the first-team replacement for Malcolm Butler.

Adrian Clayborn, who signed as a free agent after a stint with the Falcons, also has made it to the first team in his first year with the Patriots.

All NFL teams will be issuing depth charts in advance of the first preseason game, and they inevitably will be downplayed by most coaches as the meaningless creations of the P.R. staff. But they still have more meaning than no depth chart at all.

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A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that the Indianapolis Colts have agreed to terms on a three-year deal with free agent defensive end Denico Autry.

The person requested anonymity because the deal [url=http://www.pantherscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-torrey-smith-jersey]Torrey Smith Jersey[/url] , worth $17.8 million, has not yet been announced.

It’s the first move for Indy, which started Wednesday with about $72 million in salary cap room.

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Autry was a rotational player in Oakland. He had his most productive season in 2017 [url=http://www.bengalscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-tyler-kroft-jersey]Tyler Kroft Jersey[/url] , finishing with 36 tackles, five sacks and seven passes defensed – all career highs.

In Indy, he could fill a need as an edge rusher. The Colts struggled to generate a consistent pass rush last season and wound up 31st in the league with 25 sacks.




The Vikings won’t have cornerback Mackensie Alexander for a bit, due to a sprained ankle suffered Saturday against the Jaguars. In the interim [url=http://www.cowboyscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-kavon-frazier-jersey]Kavon Frazier Jersey[/url] , the ageless and timeless Terence Newman will get more work.

Via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, coach Mike Zimmer told reporters on Monday that, in Alexander’s absence, Newman will get more work in the slot. But Zimmer also added that Alexander’s injury is expected to be short term in duration.

Rookie Mike Hughes also has been getting work in the slot [url=http://www.texanscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-jay-prosch-jersey]Jay Prosch Jersey[/url] , with Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes the top options on the outside.

Now in his 16th season, Newman turns 40 on September 4. Unrelated, when he saw me at training camp late last month he said, “Steven Spielberg. Steven Spielberg. I like your movies.”

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Continuity paid off for the Los Angeles Rams‘ offense last season [url=http://www.bearscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-mitch-unrein-jersey]Mitch Unrein Jersey[/url] , starting with the same offensive line combination that played together in all but one game.

It certainly did for running back Todd Gurley, who signed a four-year, $60 million contract extension in July after running for 1,305 yards and scoring 19 total touchdowns last season behind that familiar front five.

”Whoever said money don’t make you happy lied,” Gurley said with a smile Wednesday.

The Rams expect even greater stability on offense to translate into continued success in head coach Sean McVay’s second season, a belief that has been reinforced during the start of training camp.

At this same stage last year, the Rams were working in new additions at left tackle, center and wide receiver while learning the basics of a new offense, and were still weeks away from trading for wide receiver Sammy Watkins. They return 10 of 11 starters for this year’s workouts at UC Irvine, with new acquisition Brandin Cooks replacing Watkins as the big play threat in the passing game.

Quarterback Jared Goff said the familiarity is paying dividends, especially during the transition from teaching the offense in the first few days to refining each element of a system that produced an NFL-leading 29.9 points per game.

”We feel like we’re in a good spot,” Goff said. ”Offensively, we’ve been starting to click. I think today was the first day you really felt that consistency starting to gel. We’re not so much installing anymore, we’re running the same plays over and over again and starting to get a good feel with it.”

”It makes everyone so much more comfortable just to come out here and just play our game. You don’t have to think about too much [url=http://www.cowboyscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-joe-looney-jersey]Joe Looney Jersey[/url] , and that’s what it is all about,” Gurley said.

For Goff, his increased comfort level entering his second season as the starter manifests in a better understanding of what opposing defenses are trying to do.

”It just continues to slow down,” Goff said. ”Your pre-snap process is a lot smoother, and you’re more under control of everything and are seeing things better.”

While Goff is playing faster, there has been no deceleration by Gurley after signing a contract featuring the most guaranteed money for a running back in NFL history. Goff and McVay both praised his relentlessness in practice, with a prime example coming when Gurley kept running towards the end zone as McVay was setting up the next play in the sequence.

”I got what I want, now let’s keep going,” Gurley said. ”Nothing doesn’t stop. The grind continues. It’s going to be even harder now, obviously, to be able to do what I did last year, and teams are going to game plan for it. It’s my job to go out there, put myself in a great position and try to work as hard as I can. As long as I do that, I feel comfortable with the players around me and the coaches around me to put me in a great position.”

With so much familiarity returning [url=http://www.broncoscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-steve-atwater-jersey]Steve Atwater Jersey[/url] , Gurley is ready to build on his best season to date. But he understands his individual production is the result of what the offense does together, declaring that every running back is the beneficiary of the blocking he gets before Gurley backtracked.

”Obviously, Barry Sanders is going to do what he do, but it doesn’t matter what other running back you have back there. If you don’t have all 11 doing one thing, then it’s not going to work,” he said.

NOTES: Outside linebacker Matt Longacre left practice early because of an undisclosed injury. . Kicker Greg Zuerlein made a 63-yard field goal during a simulated two-minute drill.



Tyler Anderson got in a groove from the first inning and kept on going.

Anderson tossed a career-high eight scoreless innings, Pat Valaika, Nolan Arenado and Chris Iannetta homered, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 on Friday night.

Anderson (5-3) struck out eight and walked one on 96 pitches. The left-hander retired his first 11 batters before giving up a two-out single to Justin Turner in the fourth. Matt Kemp singled leading off the fifth and Yasiel Puig narrowly beat out the throw on a two-out bunt in the same inning.

”It’s been a while since everything has really been on,” Anderson said. ”My last couple of starts were pretty close, I felt like my command was there I just made a couple mistakes. Tonight I didn’t make those mistakes. It was a total mix of all my pitches.”

Anderson retired five straight batters before allowing a single to Cody Bellinger in the seventh. Anderson improved to 4-0 on the road with a 3.48 ERA while holding hitters to a .216 average. The Rockies have won seven of his last nine starts away from home.

”He kept us off-balance,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. ”He has a three, four-pitch mix that we couldn’t get any swings off of.”

Iannetta homered leading off the ninth, extending Colorado’s lead to 3-0.

Arenado hit his team-high 20th homer in the eighth and Valaika homered over the center-field fence for Colorado’s first run in the fifth.

Valaika homered for the first time since last Sept. 24 at San Diego. It was just his second homer ever at Dodger Stadium. His first long ball in the majors came on Sept. 24 [url=http://www.brownscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-kevin-zeitler-jersey]Kevin Zeitler Jersey[/url] , 2016, in the same stadium.

”It felt good to put the barrel on the ball in a real game, a big league game,” Valaika said. ”It felt good to get the lead, too.”

The Rockies turned double plays behind Anderson in the fifth and eighth innings.

”Andy pitched great. He was spotting up everything, it was pretty easy to play defense,” Valaika said. ”I was thinking it was the third inning and I hadn’t really fielded anything yet.”

Wade Davis worked the ninth to earn his 23rd save in 27 chances.

Rich Hill (1-3) pitched solidly in his third start since coming off the disabled list because of a finger blister. Only one of his six hits was for extra bases, a double by Trevor Story in the sixth.

”The ball came out of my hand the way I wanted it to,” Hill said. ”Everything was really came together.”

Hill struck out a season-high 10 and didn’t walk anyone while allowing one run in 6 2/3 innings. His 110 pitches were a season high and the most he’s thrown since May 13, 2016, at Tampa Bay.

But the Dodgers’ bullpen struggled for the second straight game. Scott Alexander gave up Arenado’s homer and Yimi Garcia allowed Iannetta’s shot.

A day earlier, Walker Buehler was rocked for five runs and five hits in one-plus innings of an 11-5 loss to the Cubs.

Turner’s two-out shot in the ninth gave the Dodgers a franchise-record and major league-leading 54 homers in June with one day left.

”This team has set the record for the most home runs in the month for them, so clearly they’re trying to put the ball in the air,” Anderson said. ”Tonight when they did it they were just underneath a lot of things.”

The Rockies began the month getting swept by the Dodgers in a three-game series [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-lesean-mccoy-jersey]LeSean McCoy Jersey[/url] , with Los Angeles scoring 33 runs in those games. Colorado improved to 5-2 against Los Angeles this season.

PITCHER CAN HIT

Anderson collected a career high-tying two hits with singles in the third and seventh. Hill had an 0-2 count against him in the third and appeared annoyed when Anderson made contact. ”He’s a good hitting pitcher,” Hill said.

SLUMP BUSTED

Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp singled in the fifth, snapping an 0-for-15 skid. In his last 23 games against the Rockies since Sept. 20, 2015, Kemp has hit .389.

UP NEXT

RHP German Marquez (5-8, 5.53 ERA) starts for Colorado, which has won four of his seven road starts this season. He has a 3.07 ERA away from home compared to 7.93 in Denver. RHP Kenta Maeda (5-4, 3.44) goes for the Dodgers. In eight career games, including six starts, Maeda is 5-2 with a 2.11 ERA to go with 48 strikeouts and nine walks.



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