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Brian Dawkins transformed from a calm Youth Dustin Byfuglien Jersey , soft-spoken man into an action hero on game days for 16 seasons in the NFL.

Following what seemed like an out-of-body experience during pregame introductions, ”Weapon X” terrorized opponents with ferocious hits all over the field. Dawkins redefined the safety position by providing excellent pass coverage, strong run support, and the ability to blitz quarterbacks.

A fan of the ”Wolverine” Marvel comic, Dawkins played like a safety, cornerback, linebacker and defensive lineman in one package. No. 20 was the heart and soul on defense for the Philadelphia Eagles during the team’s impressive run of success in the 2000s. His unique skills helped Dawkins become the first defensive back in franchise history elected into the Hall of Fame.

Perhaps even more remarkable is the fact no football player who passed through a city known for its passion and toughness was more revered than Dawkins. He has a special bond with the fans.

”They’re crazy. They’re twisted in some ways. But I love them, because there are a lot of parts of me that are twisted in a lot of different ways,” Dawkins said. ”That’s why I did some of the crazy stuff on the field that I did. So we fit like hand in glove.

”I believe if a Philadelphia Eagles fan had a chance to play, I believe the majority of them, if not all of them, would play the game the way that I played it. They would dance, they would be having a good time, and they would go out and enjoy the opportunity to be on the football field and show it and not be afraid to show their emotions Kevin Hayes Jersey , to play with passion and give everything that they have, because that would be the only chance that they would ever get to play the game of football, and that’s how I played. I played with a chip on my shoulder. I wanted to have a good time. I danced. I celebrated after plays. I celebrated with my teammates, and they saw that.”

Dawkins was a four-time All-Pro and went to the Pro Bowl seven times in 13 seasons with the Eagles. He made two more Pro Bowl rosters in three seasons for the Denver Broncos.

Dawkins played in five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl, a 24-21 loss to the New England Patriots following the 2004 season. He had 37 interceptions, 36 forced fumbles and 26 sacks in 224 regular-season games.

His crushing hit on Atlanta’s Alge Crumpler was the defining moment in Philadelphia’s 27-10 victory over the Falcons that sent the team to its second Super Bowl appearance.

”That was kind of a tone setter for what the game was going to be about,” Dawkins said. ”It was going to be a physical contest. We knew that going into it. We talked about it all week long. It just so happened that Alge got the brunt of that blow when it comes to the frustration and anger I felt.”

A second-round pick from Clemson in 1996, Dawkins moved into the starting lineup as a rookie under coach Ray Rhodes. He thrived after Andy Reid replaced Rhodes in 1999 and brought defensive coordinator Jim Johnson to Philly.

Dawkins credits Johnson for finding different ways to use his talents.

”With Jim and his imagination and his willingness to go away from some traditional thinking when it comes to the safety position, he allowed me and my gifts (to shine),” Dawkins said. ”Jim just opened the floodgates. He would draw up different blitzes. We worked together when it came to those things. Without him using me the way he used me, I still would have had a good career. But if you look at my ability to affect the game in pretty much every statistical category, that had a lot to do with Jim running the defense through me a lot of times. That’s unheard of for a defensive coordinator to run a defense through a safety.”

Former teammate Troy Vincent, a five-time Pro Bowl cornerback, will present Dawkins for induction on stage at the Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday night. Vincent Scott Laughton Jersey , the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, called it a ”great honor” to present his good friend.

”There are so many factors that go into B-Dawk the man that complemented his football instincts and athleticism,” Vincent said. ”His non-negotiables of faith, family and football made him one of the fiercest competitors in the history of the game. His dedication to his wife and children, his non-wavering love for Jesus Christ, and his all-out commitment to excellence served as an inspiring example to our teammates and to those watching.”

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman says the aggressive cancer he was diagnosed with last month is in remission.

Speaking to the media for the first time since the Giants disclosed in early June that he had lymphoma, Gettleman said Friday he’s had four rounds of chemotherapy and will need another three more to complete his treatment.

The 67-year-old Gettleman returned to the Giants earlier this year to replace the fired Jerry Reese. He says he is feeling better than expected, but is limited in what he can do.

”I feel really good and sometimes I feel like I am apologizing for that,” Gettleman said. ”But you know my energy is good. I don’t mind telling you chemo ain’t fun. There has been a couple of days where `whef,’ it rocks your world. Now that I am going through it … my gosh, it’s not fun.”

Gettleman said when he gets treatment he has to stay in the hospital for three or four days. When he is in the office, he works roughly from 10 a.m. to 7 or 7:30 p.m.

The treatments have weakened Gettleman’s immune system and he said he can’t have much contract with people. He has to watch training camp practices from a distance in the shade, eat alone and can’t fly on airplanes. He is going to miss the Giants’ workouts in Detroit with the Lions next month.

Gettleman also predicted he would return to his job full-time this season. He also plans to take part in the upcoming contract talks for star receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

Gettleman said it was weird hearing from his physician Noah Hanifin Jersey , Dr. Andre Goy, that he was in remission.

”Just all of a sudden you go from, within a five-week period I’m told I’ve got aggressive lymphoma, and in five weeks, he said everything is going to be OK. That’s a quick turnaround,” said Gettleman, who served as the Carolina Panthers’ general manager from 2013-16.

Gettleman spoke to the Giants players after they reported to training camp Wednesday, saying that he told them two things.

The first was about the importance of being a team, and was highlighted by a recent comment from New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello after center John Tavares signed as a free agent with Toronto earlier this month.

”Lou made a great statement, which I believe in and subscribe to, in that individuals win games and teams win championships,” Gettleman said.

The other point Gettleman stressed was that the players have earned the right to be in training camp and now it was up to them to make the 53-man roster and the 47-man dress squad for games.

Gettleman also showed he has not lost his sense of humor, noting that he told the players it feels different being bald. The chemo caused his hair to fall out.

”It’s weird now getting up with a head of hair and looking at that face,” Gettleman said.

Gettleman said the cancer has not changed his approach to life Jack Johnson Jersey , adding he firmly believes it is centered for him on faith, family and football.

”Life is precious,” he said. ”I don’t care what it is, you just can’t not appreciate how important people are and how, really, we’re in the people business. At the end of the day, it’s not about how much money you make. It really isn’t, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s really about what you do with your gifts, and family is our true legacy.”

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A slimmed-down Rob Kelley is likely to remain Washington’s top running back even though Adrian Peterson is joining the Redskins.

Amid four injuries in their backfield Luca Sbisa Jersey , the Redskins signed the 33-year-old four-time All-Pro running back on Monday. But Kelley, the former “Fat Rob” who lost weight and added speed to his repertoire, should still be considered the front-runner to start Week 1 at the Arizona Cardinals.

Washington lost second-round pick Derrius Guice to a season-ending torn ACL, won’t have Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall for an extended period of time because of lower-leg injuries and waived undrafted free agent Martez Carter with an injury designation. That necessitated signing Peterson —a former standout at Oklahoma who played the majority of his career with the Vikings — and fellow running back De’Veon Smith, though coach Jay Gruden gave Kelley a vote of confidence on Sunday.

“We’re not looking for a starter right now,” Gruden said. “We’ve got Rob in-house, obviously Chris Thompson, Kapri Bibbs has done a good job, Samaje I don’t think is going to be very long at all. So we’ve got four backs right there.”

On the first day of camp, Gruden was only sure of one thing: that third-down back Chris Thompson would be on the roster and figure prominently in his return from a broken fibula. Kelley Travis Konecny Jersey , a 2016 undrafted free agent who emerged as Washington’s No. 1 running back during his rookie year and started 2017 on top of the depth chart, cut his hair short, added more muscle and looks quicker to Gruden at a svelte 222 pounds.

“It was time for a change,” Kelley said of trimming his dreadlocks. “It was like a bold statement showing that I’m ready to change, rather than just coming in and talking about it how much I’m going to change and stuff like that. Just change within and the hair was just like a statement.”

Kelley got the first chance with the first-team offense in the Redskins’ second preseason game and is trying to focus on showing his best and not the competition for the starting role.

“Early on I thought about it a lot, but now I try not to think about it,” Kelley said. “I don’t try and put too much on myself that potentially distracts me from actually getting better.”

When Guice looked like the starter, Kelley fielded questions about taking snaps at fullback and helping out on special teams. He was willing to do whatever it took to make the team, though the 25-year-old Tulane product didn’t rule out winning back the starting job he lost last season because of injuries.

“There’s competition whether you think it or not,” Kelley said. “I just make sure I go out there and I make a few plays that the catch the coaches’ eyes and stuff like that and put myself in a great position.”

He’s in a great position now by default Casey Cizikas Jersey , though Gruden also said Kelley has had a great training camp. Kelley ran for just 17 yards on seven carries last week against the Jets and the bevvy of injuries created a need to bring in another running back.

“If something else happens, we’re going to be really, really, really thin, so we just want to make sure we’re covering all our bases right now,” Gruden said.

Kelley will have to keep competing to fend off Peterson for a bulk of the carries, but that’s a big step up from being on the roster bubble a month ago. More competition is for the best for Kelley, who is no stranger to overcoming odds and winning a competition as an underdog.

“I think the hurdles just make me a better player,” Kelley said. “It’s the team’s job to keep on getting competition, to keep pushing the envelope Womens Will Butcher Jersey , so it doesn’t make a difference (and I’ve) still got to work as hard as I can.”

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed four of their seven draft picks, including fourth-rounder Will Richardson.

The Jaguars announced Thursday they also signed sixth-round quarterback Tanner Lee, seventh-round punter Logan Cooke and seventh-round linebacker Leon Jacobs.

Richardson, who is expected to compete with veteran Jermey Parnell at right tackle, was the 129th overall pick. He started 32 games in three seasons at North Carolina State.

Richardson's contact is worth $2,742,682, including a signing bonus of $327,682.

Lee's deal is worth $2,507 Riley Nash Jersey ,141 with a signing bonus of $92,141.

Cooke's contract is worth $2,531,623 with a signing bonus of $71,623. Jacobs' deal is similar.

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ORCHARD PARK Jordan Staal Jersey , N.Y. (AP) — Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton doesn’t believe he could have scripted a better visit to Buffalo on Sunday.

The donation he made to Buffalo’s Roswell Park Cancer Institute to open the day was special. The two standing ovations he received from Bills fans before the preseason game were chilling.

And Dalton was able to keep his emotions in check on the first snap from scrimmage to hit John Ross for a 57-yard touchdown pass in leading the Bengals to a 26-13 victory.

“It was a good day. I think the way it started was the best part,” Dalton said. “The game went well, too.”

The Bills could not say the same about their offense, and a three-way quarterback competition that remains unsettled.

Rookie Josh Allen struggled in his first preseason start Womens Alexander Steen Jersey , while getting little protection from an offensive line that allowed five sacks in the first half alone. He finished 6 of 12 and was sacked for more yards (39) than he had passing (34).

“I didn’t do a good enough job getting the ball out on time,” the first-round pick said. “I’ve got to do a better job, but there’s a lot to learn from.”

Dalton eased whatever concerns the starters raised with their sputters in last week’s 21-13 win at Dallas by producing three scoring drives — two touchdowns and a field goal — over five series against the Bills.

Dalton finished 11 of 16 for 180 yards and two touchdowns — including a 14-yarder to A.J. Green — to celebrate the warm reception he received in Buffalo nine months after playing a key role in the Bills making the playoffs and ending a 17-year playoff drought.

It happened in the final minute of the season finale against Baltimore on New Year’s Eve. Dalton’s 49-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to Tyler Boyd sent the Bengals to a 31-27 win, and eliminated the Ravens from playoff contention.

Bills fans responded immediately by making over $450 Womens Jaroslav Halak Jersey ,000 to Dalton’s charitable foundation.

“It’s a crazy story, and it’s been fun to be on this side of it,” Dalton said. “The best part is all the money that was raised.”

Buffalo’s offense continues to raise concerns two weeks before opening the regular season at Baltimore.

Allen generated just three first downs before being forced out of the game in the final minute of the first half. He was escorted off the field to be evaluated for a possible concussion after being tackled by Carlos Dunlap in the end zone.

Though Allen was cleared to return, he stayed on the sideline while Nathan Peterman finished the game.

This was a week after the starters went three-and-out in four series and starter AJ McCarron was sacked once and hit several other times before being sidelined with an injury to his right throwing shoulder in a 19-17 win at Cleveland.

“It’s disappointing Jonathan Huberdeau Jersey ,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said. “We’re going to make sure we’re helping him with protection and catching the football and not beating ourselves with penalties. Let’s just start there.”

SACK ATTACK

Linebacker Carl Lawson had 2 1/2 of the Bengals five sacks in the first half, and nearly had an interception. He was in position to pick off Allen’s underthrown pass up the right sideline only to have tight end Charles Clay break it up.

PETERMAN TIME

The Bengals led 23-0 before the Bills mounted a comeback with two scores late in the third quarter.

Peterman hit Jason Croom for a 17-yard touchdown, and then Travaris Cadet scored on a 1-yard run on a drive set up by Rafael Bush intercepting Bengals backup Matt Barkley’s pass. Peterman finished 16 of 21 for 200 yards, and upped his preseason total to 33 of 41 for 432 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.

WELCOME BACK

Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert had one catch for 11 yards while targeted three times in making his preseason debut. The Bengals’ 2013 first-round draft pick is coming off back surgery and was limited to playing just two games last year.

INJURIES

Bengals: Left tackle Cordy Glenn stood on the sideline Jake Guentzel Jersey Kids , but did not return after hurting his right shoulder in the first quarter. Coach Marvin Lewis said Glenn was fine. Guard Christian Westerman (back) and running back Jarveon Williams (left knee) did not return.

Bills: Backup linebacker Julian Stanford did not return after hurting his nose in the first half. RB LeSean McCoy (hip/groin) and left tackle Dion Dawkins (hip) did not play after being injured in practice this week.

ANTHEM UPDATE

The Bengals stood together along the sideline except for Dunlap, who stood on the field at the 45 with his hand on his chest. No member of the Bills appeared to protest.

UP NEXT

Bengals: Host Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night.

Bills: At Chicago Bears on Thursday night.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed inside linebacker Jon Bostic to a two-year contract.

Details of the deal were not disclosed and it will not be finalized until after Bostic undergoes a physical on Monday.

The 26-year-old Bostic played 14 games for Indianapolis last season, getting 97 tackles and one sack. Bostic injured his right knee against Denver in December and finished the season on injured reserve. Pittsburgh is Bostic’s fifth stop.

Bostic began his career with Chicago after being taken in the second round of the 2013 draft. He played two seasons in Chicago then one in New England before the Patriots traded him to Detroit in 2016. He missed the entire season in Detroit with a foot injury before joining the Colts.

The Steelers are in need of depth at inside linebacker with Ryan Shazier already ruled out for 2018 because of a spinal injury suffered in Cincinnati in December.

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Hue Jackson cleansed himself and the franchise of two years of losing Patrick Marleau Jersey , jumping into Lake Erie as promised.

Jackson vowed on January 2, 2017, to jump into the lake if the Browns finished 2017 with the same 1-15 record they had in 2016. Instead, the Browns were worse, going 0-16.

“No more freaking losing!” Jackson declared Friday.

Jackson committed to donate $100 to the Hue Jackson Foundation for every person who jumped in with him. His foundation combats human trafficking in Northeast Ohio.

Owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam offered to match Jackson’s contribution, raising $30 William Nylander Jersey ,000 after some 150 members of the organization jumped in with Jackson, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.

鈥淭hose people have been with me every day,鈥?Jackson said, via Ulrich. 鈥淲hen you lose a game and you lose as many games as we have and you keep parking your car and walking into the building and have to see those faces each and every day, I carry them with me. I carry them and their families and this city with me contrary to what anybody believes. It鈥檚 on me. I wear it every day. So I just thank them for being a part of this because they didn鈥檛 have to do this. They didn鈥檛 have to come here and support this. I made the statement, and they said Duncan Keith Jersey , 鈥楴o, I want to do this,鈥?and I鈥檓 thankful.鈥?

Jackson鈥檚 foundation is selling 鈥淟ake Jump鈥?T-shirts, with all proceeds from the sales of the $29 shirts going to the foundation.

The Panthers may not know at the moment what their offensive line is going to look like Sunday.

But they at least have more options than anticipated.

Via reporters at practice, right tackle Daryl Williams is practicing in full pads today, as is left guard Amini Silatolu.

Having either one back this week against Dallas would help Nico Hischier Jersey , though there’s no guarantee either will be available. Williams suffered an MCL sprain and dislocated kneecap in the first padded practice of training camp, while Silatolu had a procedure for a torn meniscus.

It may be too optimistic to think they’d be ready this soon, but their participation is a good sign, as was not putting Williams on IR so he could return after eight weeks. That’s what they did with left tackle Matt Kalil.

The Panthers will likely use Taylor Moton at left tackle, and the right tackle start could go to trade acquisition Corey Robinson or right guard Trai Turner, who played some tackle two years ago. That would throw two guard jobs up in the air Youth Mark Letestu Jersey , which is less than ideal, but nothing about the Panthers’ line situation is.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning know the grind.

Back in the Eastern Conference final for the third time in four years Authentic Max Domi Jersey , the Atlantic Division winners led the NHL in scoring this season but have been even more impressive defensively through the first two rounds of the playoffs.

”I think if people looked at our team in the regular season … we had the most goals scored in the league or close to it. So, we’re kind of looked at as that team, the high-flying Bolts that can score and defense isn’t really important to them,” coach Jon Cooper said.

”To us, all along it has been (important). To win in the playoffs, you have to have that,” Cooper added. ”Probably the one thing that’s gone under the radar is how physical we’ve been in both series. I think that’s really helped the cause to where we were. It’s difficult in an 82-game season to bring that kind of intensity every single night. In the playoffs guys are more dialed in.”

Sunday’s 3-1 victory closed out the team’s second-round matchup against the Boston Bruins in five games.

Coming off a week’s rest, the Lightning allowed six goals in losing Game 1.

Over the last three games of the series, including a pair of wins in Boston Womens Samuel Girard Jersey , Tampa Bay neutralized the Bruins’ high-scoring line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak while not allowing an even-strength goal.

Much of the credit goes to the line of Brayden Point, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat, which rebounded from yielding 11 points to the Bergeron line in the series opener to move than hold their own against the Boston trio the rest of the way.

”It’s a four-line effort. You have to have depth. You have to have it. It’s the way everybody bought into their rolls and contributed,” Cooper said.

The Lightning’s depth also showed offensively, with 12 players combining to score 17 goals in the second round.

Point, J.T. Miller and Anton Stralman scored in Sunday’s clincher against Boston.

”For sure, you don’t expect to come in and beat a team like that in four straight games after dropping the first one. We expected a long series,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. ”I don’t think any team goes in thinking you are going to clean out a team in the second round in five Youth Corey Crawford Jersey , but it happened. When you play the right way, you get rewarded for it.”

Tampa Bay is the eighth team since 1998 to reach a conference final three times in a four-year span.

The Lightning defeated the New York Rangers in 2015, advancing to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to Chicago in six games. They lost the 2016 East final to the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games.

”It’s good, but it will be gratifying if we win two more series,” forward Ryan Callahan said. ”We’ve been here before, so the shock and awe of really getting this far really isn’t there. We are happy with our first two series, but there is so much more work to do and we realize that.”

The Lightning will face either Washington or defending champion Pittsburgh. The Capitals lead that semifinal series 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Monday night.

”We’ll watch it for sure, but I think the most important thing at the end of the day is just getting our rest Womens Esa Lindell Jersey ,” Point said, looking ahead. ”We’re going to be ready when our time comes, hopefully prepare well, and play some good games.”

At a time when more than two-thirds of the 2018 NFL draft class has signed, the Rams still haven’t signed a draft pick. That’s by design.

The Rams have, for several years, been among the last teams to sign their rookie class. That’s because the Rams first like to spend some time educating their rookies about life in the NFL before paying them life-changing money, which a rookie signing bonus can be.

A few years ago we noted that the Rams do “Financial Planning 101” with rookies, wanting them to have an idea of what to do with their signing bonuses.

Kevin Demoff Bryan Little Jersey , the Rams COO, has said he likes to sign players at the end of the offseason program, before the pre-training camp break.

鈥淥ne of the things that we think is important with that is bringing the rookies in as a group, having them live together as a group, and not having any real differentiation between the first-round pick and the undrafted rookie,” Demoff said. 鈥淭hey鈥檙e in the hotel together. They鈥檙e eating meals together. They鈥檙e doing things together. And then [by the time] they all scatter, we鈥檒l sign their contracts. They鈥檒l leave knowing the contract鈥檚 done, so they don鈥檛 have to worry about that headache when they go on vacation.鈥?/p>

Expect the Rams’ rookies all to sign at once within the next few weeks.

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The Boone Logan experiment is over in Milwaukee.

The NL Central-leading Brewers designated the left-handed reliever for assignment on Tuesday to make room on the roster for rookie starter Freddy Peralta.

Logan appeared in 16 games for Milwaukee Braydon Coburn Jersey , which signed him as a free agent in January hoping to use him as a left-handed specialist. He started the season dealing with a lat injury and struggled after joining the club in early May. The 33-year-old went 1-0 with a 5.91 ERA for the Brewers and had trouble getting out left-handed batters. Lefties went 9 for 22 (.410) against Logan with five extra-base hits.

Peralta is scheduled to start against the Pirates on Tuesday night. He is 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA in two major-league starts.

Here in North America, we are lucky to have access to the NFL, NHL, MLB, and NBA, the four biggest and most successful leagues for their respective sports Dustin Brown Jersey , and although the NHL is the least popular of the four, it is still a billion dollar enterprise. The National Hockey League has seen a handful of competitors over the decades, like the KHL and WHA, but the league has managed to overcome every single competitor thus far thanks to it continuously offering fans the best hockey players that the world has to offer. Just because the NHL is home to the most talented players, does not mean that every single team is competitive and successful, because along the way Patrick Maroon Jersey , every team's front office makes mistakes that negatively effect the performance of their roster.

We all make mistakes. It is just part of makes us human, but in sports, mistakes are almost always costly, whether the mistake occurs on the field of play, or off the field, via trades Vladimir Tarasenko Jersey , drafts, or free agency. When it comes to hockey, off-ice mistakes can be really harmful to a franchise, because NHL teams rely heavily on trades and the draft to improve their rosters, and since the league has a cap in place, any free agents that fail to pan out can leave a team strapped for cash for when they really need to spend. The NHL has been around for 100 years now Youth Mark Letestu Jersey , so you can only imagine how many mistakes have occurred over the years, including certain mistakes that were so bad, that it took franchises years to get passed them, and this article will focus on 15 of those mistakes that were truly embarrassing.

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The Seattle Seahawks signed first-round pick running back Rashaad Penny to his rookie contract Wednesday.

The Seahawks have now signed six of their nine draft picks. Offensive tackle Jamarco Jones (fifth round) and quarterback Alex McGough (seventh round) signed earlier this week.

Penny was taken with the 27th overall selection. His contract is for four years with a team option for a fifth.

Penny was one of the elite running backs in college football last season as he became a full-time starter for the first time. He led the nation with 2 Nate Schmidt Jersey ,248 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns for San Diego State. Penny rushed for at least 200 yards in each of the final five games to close out the 2017 season and had 13 rushing TDs during the stretch.

Utah had a four-point lead in the fourth quarter on Wednesday night when Donovan Mitchell missed a jumper and sailed above three Houston Rockets to grab the rebound and finish with a nifty one-handed slam.

He did it right near the Jazz bench and his teammates went wild, cheering and pretending to fall backward on each other in awe.

Joe Ingles led the Jazz with a career-high 27 points, but it was the star rookie who provided the highlight of the night as the Jazz evened the Western Conference semifinals 1-1 with a 116-108 win.

Ingles made a career-best seven 3-pointers and Mitchell added 17 points and a franchise rookie-record 11 assists for his first game this postseason where he scored fewer than 20 points and didn’t lead the team in scoring.

But he certainly provided an emotional boost to his team with his highlight-reel worthy play. He smiled broadly when it was brought up postgame, and said he was just trying to get the rebound on his miss when he made a split-second decision.

”I just happened to be up there Max Pacioretty Jersey ,” he said. ”So I said: `Why come down with it?”’

The Jazz squandered a huge early lead before using a big fourth quarter to regain control and head home for Game 3 on Friday in Utah with a chance to take a series lead over the top-seeded Rockets.

Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said Mitchell was the key to the win even though he didn’t lead the team in scoring.

”He was breaking us down,” D’Antoni said. ”He was getting in there and was finding guys in the corner. He’s a handful whether he’s finishing or not.”

The Jazz were behind by two with eight minutes left before using a 16-2 run to pull away.

After trailing by 25 points at halftime of the 110-96 loss in the series opener, the Jazz jumped out to an early lead in this one and led by as many as 19 in the first half.

”Last game, we came out completely opposite. Tonight Troy Brouwer Jersey , they kind of caught us off-guard,” Houston’s James Harden said. ”We adjusted to it in that second quarter, but we can’t get down 19 no matter who we’re playing.”

Houston regained the lead in the third quarter but couldn’t keep pace with the Jazz in the fourth as their normally potent offense went cold.

Harden had 32 points and 11 assists, and Chris Paul added 23 points as Houston fell to the Jazz for the first time this season after winning the first five meetings.

Jazz coach Quin Snyder was pleased at his team’s balanced scoring effort on a night six players finished in double figures Womens Alexander Steen Jersey , and he raved about the contribution of Ingles.

”Every time Joe has needed to step up his game, he has been able to,” Snyder said. ”He’s committed to that. He knew tonight he would need to make some shots and he was able to do it.”

Houston was down by one entering the fourth but Utah scored eight straight points on 3-pointers from Dante Exum and Jae Crowder before Mitchell’s dunk made it 100-94.

Harden made a basket after that before Utah scored another eight straight points, with two 3s from Ingles http://www.officialmapleleafsproshop.com/authentic-adidas-james-van-riemsdyk-jersey , to make it 108-96 with 4 1/2 minutes left.

Harden ended a 2 1/2-minute Houston scoring drought with a 3-pointer about a minute later that was the start of a 9-3 run that got the Rockets within 111-105 with 1:46 left. But Rudy Gobert made one of two free throws before Exum put it out of reach with a dunk.

Utah led by nine before Houston used a 16-5 run to go up 71-69 for its first lead since it was 6-5 with about seven minutes left in the third. The Jazz went back up 86-85 by the end of the period.

After taking just four shots in Game 1 and finishing with 11 points, Gobert got going early Wednesday and had 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting by halftime. But he was mostly quiet after the break, and finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds.

TIP-INS

Jazz: Snyder said before the game that he didn’t know when point guard Ricky Rubio would return. … Utah assistant Igor Kokoskov was hired as head coach of the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. … Ingles got a technical in the second quarter for arguing with Paul.

Rockets: Luc Mbah a Moute had four points and four rebounds in his second game back after missing the first series after dislocating his right shoulder on April 10. … Paul also received a technical for barking at Ingles. … Clint Capela finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

THEY SAID IT

The notoriously low-key Harden when told by a reporter that he looked irritated by Utah’s defense on Wednesday: ”I look like that all the time. That’s just my facial expression.”

UP NEXT

The series moves to Utah where Game 3 is Friday and Game 4 will be played on Sunday.

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Coby Fleener is running. He’s lifting weights. But doctors still haven’t cleared the tight end for football activities.

Fleener expects his brain injury to heal Christopher Tanev Jersey , but “we just don’t know when,” he said Thursday, via Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune.

The Saints released Fleener in May with a failed physical designation as he continues to recover from a concussion that prematurely ended his 2017 season. He still experiences dizziness and what he calls “head pressure,” symptoms he didn’t experience with his previous four concussions.

Fleener, 29, wants to keep playing and remains open to returning to the Saints. Other teams have inquired about his availability, too.

But until his symptoms heal, all Fleener can do is wait.

“I guess I’ve trained really hard to get to this point, and it would be not the ending that I would’ve written if it were up to me,” he said. “If I can end it differently on a high note, that would probably be ideal.”

WESTFIELD Chris Kreider Jersey , Ind. (AP) — Al Woods hears about the murmurs coming from anxious Indianapolis Colts‘ fans.

They’re worried that another new and improved defense may not live up to the billing after Russell Wilson led Seattle to a touchdown on his only drive in last week’s game.

More angst emerged Tuesday when the defense delivered a less-than-stellar performance in the final night practice of training camp.

Add the historical perception of Indianapolis relying on its high-scoring offense to win, and it’s enough to set off alarm bells even before camp ends this weekend.

But Woods refuses to panic and instead urges fans to be patient as this unit finds its identity.

“I think we’re in a good place right now and I think we’re going to find out a lot more tomorrow against the Ravens,” the veteran defensive tackle said Thursday, referring to two joint practices scheduled this weekend. “I’m comfortable in any defense, but I really like this defense.”

He expects Colts’ fans will, too.

Nobody expected the transition from a 3-4 front to the more traditional 4-3 to go off without a hitch, especially given all the new faces, new assignments and lingering injuries.

And it has been a challenge getting everybody on the same page.

The conversion began with new coordinator Matt Eberflus installing his version of the “Tampa 2,” moving linebackers John Simon, Jabaal Sheard and Tarell Basham to defensive end. It continued with some carefully choreographed moves in free agency and the draft.

And while veterans such as Simon, Sheard Gabriel Landeskog Jersey Kids , Woods and newly acquired Denico Autry, have pitched in, the rest of the defense remains a work in progress.

“I think we’ve got a long way to go,” Simon said. “I think we took more positives than negatives out of the (Seattle) game, and that’s what we wanted to do — come out there and see good play when the pressure is on in that type of atmosphere against a pretty good offense. We took some positives, but I think we’ve still got a long way to go.”

One problem has been injuries.

Starting safeties Clayton Geathers and Malik Hooker are just starting to round into shape after missing all of the Colts’ offseason workouts and the start of camp while rehabbing from knee surgery.

Geathers could play Monday night against Baltimore, though it appears Hooker may miss at least another week after tearing two ligaments in his right knee in October.

The return of both forced Eberflus to recalibrate.

“When they came back, we reset the whole defense and started from line one, first day install and redid all those walkthroughs again just for those guys,” he said. “It was good for the younger guys to go through it again, so we kind of reset everything just for those guys.”

Safety hasn’t been the only position hit hard.

Young cornerbacks Pierre Desir Youth Derek Grant Jersey , Quincy Wilson, Nate Hairston and Kenny Moore III are all playing expanded roles this season. Desir, now in his fifth pro season, is the dean of the secondary with 13 career starts.

Defensive end Kemoko Turay (knee) and defensive tackle Tyquan Lewis (foot), both rookies, have spent most of the past two weeks trying to return from injuries.

At linebacker, the depth chart appears even thinner.

Rookie Darius Leonard, a second-round pick from South Carolina State, free agent signee Najee Goode and Anthony Walker currently hold the top spots on the depth chart. Leonard picked off Andrew Luck on the first day of camp and has shown flashes of play-making ability while Walker, in his second season, is the longest-tenured of the three.

Naturally Authentic Joe Pavelski Jersey , there have been growing pains.

“We’ve had a lot of different matchups as you guys have seen,” Eberflus said. “We need to get that solidified so guys can start communicating, knowing each other and trusting each other as they go forward.”

The Colts believe they can fix it — in time.

“Pass rush, run stop, communication, coverage, I think that’s the same thing for every defense,” Simon said. “If you’re not out here trying to get better every day, then I think you’re in the wrong profession.”

Notes: The Colts have signed running back Tion Green and put William Ossai on the waived-non-football illness list.

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Arizona manager Torey Lovullo asked his team for a strong finish before the All-Star break.

Zack Greinke set the example.

Greinke added another road win to his strong first half by allowing only four hits in 7 2/3 innings Tomas Tatar Jersey , extending Atlanta’s offensive slump, and the Diamondbacks shut out the Braves 3-0 on Saturday.

”He was fantastic,” Lovullo said. ”Our guy, our All-Star goes out there and pitches into the eighth inning and really was in control every inning.”

Greinke (10-5), named to the NL All-Star team on Thursday as a replacement for Chicago’s Jon Lester, has won five straight decisions. The 34-year-old right-hander has been especially strong away from home, winning five straight road starts since June 8.

Greinke had seven strikeouts, did not walk a batter and allowed no more than one baserunner in any inning.

Even though he has not lost since June 13 against Pittsburgh, Greinke said he felt stronger than in other games, including his last start against San Diego.

”It felt good from the get-go,” Greinke said. ”Way different from the last game. … My fastball was really good today. That kind of made all the other pitches better.”

Ketel Marte hit a sixth-inning homer for Arizona Ryan McDonagh Jersey , which has won the first two games of the three-game series and has matched its 2017 team record of 53 wins before the All-Star break. The Diamondbacks began the day one-half game behind the first-place Dodgers in the NL West.

”I’ve asked these guys openly to make sure they come out and play good baseball before the break and coming out of the break,” Lovullo said. ”It’s very important to us. I’m proud of them. They’re executing and playing good baseball. That’s the bottom line.”

The Braves, who have lost eight of 10, remained 1 1/2 games behind Philadelphia in the NL East.

An offensive slump is a big reason Atlanta fell out of first place this week after holding at least a share of the division lead since May 31. The Braves have scored no more than two runs in six of their last nine games.

”You know you’re going to go through this,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker. ”We went a long time without experiencing it. We’re in a rut here, but you look up and we’re still in the thick of it. We’re still close.”

Brad Boxberger pitched around a one-out single by Nick Markakis in the ninth for his 24th save.

Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb, who didn’t walk more than three batters in any of his five June starts, has had renewed control problems in July. Newcomb (8-5) walked three of Arizona’s first four batters, setting up Steven Souza Jr.’s bases-loaded single to left field.

Newcomb allowed three runs on four hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. He has issued 12 walks in three starts this month.

Newcomb threw 36 pitches in the long first inning. He regrouped to record 10 straight outs after Souza’s single before Chris Owings singled with two outs in the fourth and scored on a double off the left-field wall by Jeff Mathis.

Marte’s homer gave Arizona a 3-0 lead and knocked Newcomb out of the game.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation for the second time in four weeks. The surprise move was made shortly before the game after Vizcaino said he was unavailable to pitch. ”It’s concerning, very much so I think,” Snitker said. RHP Peter Moylan was reinstated from the 10-day DL.

BRADLEY’S HOLDS

Arizona’s Archie Bradley earned his 26th hold of the season Michael Frolik Jersey , the most in the majors before the All-Star break since 1969, when holds became an official statistic, according to the Diamondbacks. Pittsburgh’s Mark Melancon also had 25 holds before the break in 2013.

LOOKING AHEAD

Braves LHP Max Fried, on the 10-day DL with a left middle finger blister, is an option to start on July 24 at Miami if LHP Luiz Gohara is not yet sufficiently stretched out at Triple-A Gwinnett. The Braves need help in their rotation with RHP Brandon McCarthy (right knee tendinitis) and RHP Mike Soroka (right shoulder inflammation) on the DL.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks: LHP Patrick Corbin (6-3, 3.09) has a 1.54 ERA in his last four starts since June 22.

Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (6-6, 4.47) is 3-1 with a 3.15 ERA in seven career starts against Arizona. He did not face the Diamondbacks in 2017.

CHICAGO — The Cincinnati Reds have given the Chicago Cubs fits all season. But just when Reds appeared on the verge of winning their sixth straight game against the reigning National League Central champions, the Cubs turned to a familiar ally.

The comeback.

The Cubs twice rallied from five runs down on Saturday to pull out an 8-7 victory. They will head into Sunday’s matinee at Wrigley Field with a chance to capture the series. Having staff ace Jon Lester on the mound certainly won’t hurt.

Lester will take his 11-2 record and 2.25 ERA into the start a day after the Cubs produced four eighth-inning runs for their dramatic win.The Cubs’ last eight wins all have come after they fell behind early.

“I love the fight,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters after the team’s 50th win of the season. “Both sides wanted to win (and) we got it in the end.

“We’ve been in this situation all week.”

Added Cubs second baseman Javier Baez, who homered in the seventh inning before the Cubs mounted their latest comeback: “We never quit.”

The rally stunned the Reds, who appeared in line for their sixth win in their last seven games and their 15th in the past 19. Instead Christopher Tanev Jersey , Lester will take the mound in search of his eighth straight victory.

Lester was named NL Pitcher of the Month in June and is tied for the league lead in victories. Lester, who has won seven straight starts dating to May 23, will look to keep rolling against the Reds, against whom he is 6-1 in 14 starts.

In Lester’s last start — an 11-10 victory over the Minnesota Twins — he added an extra bonus — a solo home run. But Lester, who has struggled traditionally from the plate, won’t get too wrapped up in the excitement.

“If I get hits, I get hits,” Lester told reporters after his last outing on July 1. “The home run is awesome, it’s cool, especially at home. But at the end of the day, I know I’m a pitcher and I’m not a hitter.”

The Cubs Ryan Kesler Jersey , who are playing without third baseman Kris Bryant — whom Maddon said will begin a minor league assignment soon — may be without right fielder Jason Heyward. He left Saturday’s loss in the third inning after fouling a ball off his groin.

The Reds enter Sunday’s series finale looking for their sixth straight series. But after Cincinnati touched up Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood for seven runs only to see Jared Hughes surrender a three-run lead, the Reds will attempt to regain their winning ways after Saturday’s shocker.

Cincinnati’s bullpen had, until Saturday, been able to protect late leads, which made Saturday’s loss so unfathomable. It marked only the third time this season the Reds lost after leading heading into the eighth inning.

“We’ve come back on a few clubs like that,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman told reporters, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Today, (the Cubs) did it to us.”

Luis Castillo (5-8, 5.53) will start Sunday for the Reds and will attempt to bounce back from a disappointing June. He finished the month 1-3 and allowed at least three earned runs in each of his five outings. Castillo is 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA in three career starts against the Cubs.

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Yes Jordan Staal Jersey , that really happened.

Sam Darnold sparkled in his NFL debut 鈥?after a disastrous first throw, of course 鈥?and the New York Jets dominated on offense, defense and special teams for a stunningly complete 48-17 victory over Detroit in their season opener Monday night.

And, just like that, hopes have been raised just one week into the season. Well, everywhere outside the Jets' facility, that is.

"Our expectations were like that before the game," coach Todd Bowles said Tuesday. "So, it doesn't change any. We had high expectations to begin with. That game changes nothing for us. It was just one game. We've got 15 more to go. We're going to try to win them different ways. Obviously, every week won't be the same, but our expectations haven't changed."

Just a few days before the game, Bowles made the matter-of-fact statement that he's not here to collect a check or go 8-8, which would be a solid improvement on the 5-11 marks the Jets have had the past two years. He said he's here to try to lead this franchise to a Super Bowl.

Sure, that seems like a stretch right now, but his players might be right there with him on that gameplan.

They saw what they can accomplish when everything is clicking and what they can be if they can come close to replicating what went on in Detroit.

"I know what we're capable of doing and even that wasn't our best game," wide receiver Quincy Enunwa said after the win. "So Colton Sissons Jersey , I think that going forward we're going to go ahead and fix the corrections and we're going to play better every game, that's our goal."

Next up is the home opener against AFC East-rival Miami, and a chance to open the season 2-0 for the first time since Bowles' first year as coach in 2015.

New York will have a short week after that with a Thursday night game at Cleveland. Three games in 11 games 鈥?with some fans on social media and sports radio already thinking about the Jets opening 3-0 since Rex Ryan's first season as coach in 2009.

"The Culture has CHANGED!!" safety Jamal Adams tweeted shortly after the win . "I've been telling y'all... the Jets are DIFFERENT this year. This is just the beginning!"

Both Adams, who had the first interception of his career, and linebacker Darron Lee, who picked off his first two passes, said they knew what the Lions were doing on just about every play as New York finished with five interceptions of Matthew Stafford.

Bowles said Tuesday that it was simply a product of preparation.

"No, we didn't know any audibles," the coach said. "We didn't know any plays. I think those guys did a good job of following the assignments that the coaches taught them. And they were anticipating certain things. They have certain formations and they were in the right position and good position to make those types of plays."

Either way, it certainly worked.

It helped that Darnold bounced back from a brutal beginning in which the first throw of his NFL career was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Quandre Diggs.

Rather than get rattled, the youngest quarterback to start a season opener in the Super Bowl era played with the poise of a veteran.

The 21-year-old Darnold finished 16 of 21 for 198 yards and touchdowns to Robby Anderson and Enunwa.

"I thought he played well after the first play," Bowles said. "He did some good things. We had some problems with the headset, so we had to call timeout a few times, but that was no fault of his. We just had some headset issues where they weren't working where he could hear the play, but I thought he handled himself well."

The coaches and players have raved about Darnold's maturity and football smarts from the day he started practicing with them in May after being the No. 3 overall pick in the draft.

Those very attributes were on display in front of a prime-time audience on Monday night.

"He's the same guy every day," Bowles said of Darnold. "I think that's important at the quarterback position for you to be the same guy. You know what you're getting out of the guy and you trust that type of person when you're the same guy every day Andrei Vasilevskiy Jersey , and that's really been the most impressive thing."

Bowles has both played and coached in the NFL for the better part of the past 30 years and come across lots of young players during that time.

The coach senses something simply different about Darnold because of that even-keeled focus already.

"It's great to see," Bowles said. "It's rare more nowadays. It was a little more common back then (when Bowles played) for whatever reason, but it's a little more rare than what I've been around and it's exciting to see because he's got an old soul. He's young in age but understands the game very well. He works at it the right way."

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Jacksonville and Minnesota each fell one game short of the Super Bowl last season, and they had another important trait in common, too.

Dominant defense.

The Vikings finished first in the NFL last season with both the fewest yards and points allowed, and that didn’t go unnoticed by the Jaguars. They were second and, naturally, not pleased about it.

These joint practices the teams conducted in Minnesota this week naturally gave Jacksonville’s proud group another opportunity to show off those skills, even if there was no obvious way to compare. Jaguars coach Doug Marrone even needled his players a little before the trip as another way to bring out their best.

As the second day of sessions at the sparkling, sprawling Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center in suburban Minneapolis wrapped up after a thunderstorm interruption on Thursday afternoon, the takeaway was clear from both sides.

That other team is good.

The time was well spent.

“I would consider it again. I think it depends on the team and things like that. Both teams were very respectful of one another,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said after practice. “There was really no fighting or nothing like that. No trash talking. It went really smooth.”

The Jaguars and Vikings will play on Saturday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium. Then they’ll go their separate ways for likely a few years, unless they are able to take that final step and match up in the Super Bowl. This experience, particularly facing these star-packed defenses, ought to stick with them for a while.

“It’s a great reminder of why practice is so important every week during the season Adam Larsson Jersey ,” Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins said, “because each defense has those nuances that, if you’re not on top of it, will make for a long day on Sundays.”

Fortunately for the Vikings, the Jaguars aren’t on their 2018 regular-season schedule. Defensive end Calais Campbell had a disruptive couple of days going against the Vikings and their injury-thinned offensive line.

“They’ve got names, they’ve got experience, and they’ve got production,” Cousins said. “Certainly that’s where a lot of great defenses are founded, is on the defensive line. I have a lot of respect for their group up front.”

Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles had his share of plays thwarted by the Vikings.

“When you see the matchups and you look at the talent on the other side of the ball, you’re looking at that and you’re saying, ‘Listen, these are the type of players that you have to go against to be a heck of a football team in the NFL,'” Marrone said.

For Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, who’s now past the 10-month mark in his recovery from reconstructive ACL surgery on his left knee that cut short a promising rookie season, the Jaguars defense was a welcome sight.

“I was pumped up. It actually felt like I was going into a game,” said Cook Bo Horvat Jersey , who was held out of the exhibition opener at Denver last week and might remain on the sideline as a precaution on Saturday.

Though there were no late hits or unnecessarily rough stuff, facing the Jaguars gave Cook some valuable time against a defense that wasn’t his own.

“Your guys take care of you, but with those guys coming in you have to react a little different,” Cook said. “You have to cut. You have to do things differently. We take care of those guys, but there is just a little different vibe to it. You have to have a little pep in your step.”

One of the players not present remained a primary talking point: Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey. He was left behind for disciplinary reasons and, earlier this week, made waves for his blunt commentary about opposing quarterbacks around the league published in a GQ magazine article .

“He has opinions, and he likes voicing them. That makes him a special guy. I love how authentic he is. He doesn’t beat around the bush at all. That might make some guys try to play their best games against us, but that’s how it’s supposed to be anyway,” Campbell said, adding: “We’ll rally behind him, we’ll play hard together and hopefully we can make him look like he knows what he’s talking about.”

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