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  1. #1

    05.05.2018
    RTHGH
    NY
    341

     San Franciscos Jimmy Garoppolo

    Since Jon Gruden last coached in the NFL a decade ago Authentic John Franklin-Myers Jersey , the league has undergone a youth movement.

    Thanks to a collective bargaining agreement that limits salaries for players in their first four years and a more spread out game that places a greater premium on speed, teams have relied more than ever on young players.

    Gruden still is showing the same kind of preference for experience that he did when he first took over the Raiders back in 1998, signing 11 players this offseason who are already in their 30s.

    "We've added a veteran presence," Gruden said. "Some people don't like it, but I like Derrick Johnson, I like Marcus Gilchrist, I like guys that know what the heck is going on."

    That's the opposite direction most teams have gone since Gruden last coached in Tampa Bay in 2008. The youth movement hit high gear following the 2011 collective bargaining agreement and the average snap weighted age for NFL players fell to 26.46 years last season, according to Football Outsiders, the lowest since the website began tracking that number in 2006.

    The average age has been falling gradually each year since 2008, with players about a half-year younger now than they were a decade ago.

    But Gruden is bucking that trend, signing players like Johnson, Jordy Nelson, Frostee Rucker and Leon Hall.

    "Heck yeah that's a positive," tight end Jared Cook said. "It helps the maturity of this team. When you got young guys, especially nowadays, these young guys just don't get what the NFL is about. Even something as simple as veteran presence and veteran leadership, they don't understand that. Veteran respect, they don't necessarily get that. So, having vets in the locker room and having vets around you that know the role, know how things go and that hold other people accountable ... is huge. You can't buy that anywhere, because vets know how it's supposed to be done, and they're going to get it done the right way it's supposed to be."

    Gruden took a similar tack in his first stint in Oakland Josh Jackson Packers Jersey , bringing in players like Eric Allen, Jerry Rice, Rich Gannon, Andre Rison, William Thomas, Trace Armstrong and Anthony Newman to help turn the Raiders from a losing team into a playoff participant his final two seasons.

    Several of the older players have ties to either defensive coordinator Paul Guenther or special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, giving the coaching staff some proven players who are able to help teach the new systems.

    "It's very important," Guenther said. "I always say this, but it's a player's game. So when you have guys that really understand the details of everything. Obviously, we haven't been through a season with some of the guys who were here last year. Some of the things that come up, whether it be in the locker room or in the meeting room. I may say, 'Hey, remember when this happened two years ago against Atlanta?' We recall those things. So it's very helpful to have guys that are in the infantry line there to help us out."

    The Raiders made an effort to add players like that in every position group on defense with Rucker on the defensive line, Emmanuel Lamur at linebacker, and Reggie Nelson and Leon Hall in the secondary all familiar with Guenther's defense and able to serve as sounding boards for their teammates.

    Rashaan Melvin said he frequently turns to Hall, who spent nine seasons in Cincinnati when Guenther was a defensive assistant or coordinator.

    "Any time we're putting in a new defensive scheme or whatever it might be, he's been in the system for a long time," Melvin said. "If it's a nickel position, he knows it. If it's the corner position, he knows it. So, whatever questions we might have to ask or to ask coach, he's like another coach for us in the room."

    But as much as the older players were brought in for their knowledge Mark Andrews Jersey Ravens , it won't matter at all if they still can't play at a high level. They need to be much more than unofficial coaches on the field.

    The next few weeks will show what these veterans still have left. The 33-year-old Nelson, who has already impressed his coaches and teammates, is trying to prove that his dropoff last season had more to do with Aaron Rodgers' injury than his advancing age.

    "The thing that you hear about that he can't run anymore, that's false," quarterback Derek Carr said. "I can tell you, he's one of the fastest skill guys that we have still. He can run. You see that by his route running. If he can win on underneath routes that means DB's are scared about what he can do over the top. He's still Jordy Nelson, that's for sure."

    Welcome to the NFL, Baker Mayfield.

    And welcome back to the league, Andrew Luck.

    While the opening preseason game for most teams carries little intrigue as players from the back end of the roster try to strut their stuff, several story lines will be worth following Thursday night.

    Start in the New Jersey Meadowlands and in Seattle.

    Top overall draft pick Mayfield will see some action against the Giants, who have their own prized rookie in second overall selection Saquon Barkley. The Browns might not be counting on too much from Mayfield early on as veteran Tyrod Taylor is Clevelands starter, but New York expects a huge boost for its offense from the Penn State running back.

    On the other coast, the Colts plan for their recently luckless quarterback to take some snaps against the Seahawks. Luck hurt the right shoulder in September 2015 against Tennessee, missed two games, then returned to make four more starts before sustaining a season-ending lacerated kidney. He played through shoulder pain in 2016, then had surgery that sidelined him for all of last season.

    Its been roughly 600 days between starts for the Colts star.

    Elsewhere on the first full night of preseason games, its Carolina at Buffalo, Chicago at Cincinnati, New Orleans at Jacksonville, Tampa Bay at Miami, Pittsburgh at Philadelphia, the Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore Phillip Gaines Jersey Bills , Washington at New England, Tennessee at Green Bay, Houston at Kansas City, and Dallas at San Francisco.

    What to look for Thursday night around the league:

    BAKER AND BARKLEY

    Brimming with optimism coming off a 0-16 season, Clevelands plan is to have Mayfield sit and learn as a rookie behind Taylor, who will start at MetLife Stadium and play one or two series before giving way to Mayfield, who is expected to play two quarters.

    When you get the energy level up, youve got to be able to execute, so thats why Im excited about Thursday as well, Mayfield said. You get people hyped up, you actually get some contact in and you can focus in and do your job when there are distractions around.

    New Giants coach Pat Shurmur, who led the Browns in 2011-12, hasnt indicated how much Barkley will play.

    I am hoping I am good to go for that game, Barkley said. I am more than capable to playing now. I am just happy inside to play in my first NFL game. Hopefully I can maximize every rep.

    LUCKY COLTS

    Luck is expected to play most of the first quarter, likely one or two series playing in a revamped offense with an overhauled offensive line.

    Ill be excited and a little nervous, Luck said. There were one or two moments where I wondered if, Am I ever going to be able to do this again?'

    Seattle is also revamped. The names Sherman, Avril, Bennett and Chancellor that used to don the backs of jerseys are no longer around. Itll be the first look at an overhauled defense where the big questions center on the secondary star safety Earl Thomas is holding out and what kind of pass rush can be generated.

    VRABELS DEBUT

    Mike Vrabel says he really hasnt spent much time thinking of any pregame speech in his debut as Titans coach.

    Never really got a great motivational speech as a professional athlete, Vrabel said. Just had a job to do, was prepared, knew the game plan and went out and played.

    Another man with Patriots ties Chase Edmonds Color Rush Jersey , cornerback Malcolm Butler, plays his first game for Tennessee. He most memorably was benched on defense for the Super Bowl in February even as New Englands secondary was torn apart by Philadelphia.

    A season-ending knee injury to Packers inside linebacker Jake Ryan left a hole in the run defense. Third-round pick Oren Burks will get the first chance at replacing Ryan in the base defense.

    FLORIDA MATCHUP

    Miamis eyes will be on Ryan Tannehill, who like Luck sat out last season when injured. Hell make a brief appearance against Tampa Bay, which wont have top draftee DT Vita Vea (calf injury).

    PENNSYLVANIA MATCHUP

    Two teams with Super Bowl possibilities, though the regulars barely will get on the field.

    Pittsburgh, of course, is without outstanding running back LeVeon Bell, who is holding out. All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown and QB Ben Roethlisberger will sit.

    With Carson Wentz still not cleared for contact and Nick Foles, the Super Bowl MVP, sidelined by muscle spasms in his shoulder and neck, third-year pro QB Nate Sudfeld starts.

    CALIFORNIA MATCHUP

    No, the Cowboys dont call California home. They do spend a few weeks there in the summer, and now theyll visit the 49ers.

    Dallas is searching for leadership with tight end Jason Witten gone to ESPN and WR Dez Bryant cut.

    San Franciscos Jimmy Garoppolo, 7-0 as a starter in his four-year career, will be taking his first snaps in a game since signing a five-year, $137.5 million contract. Hes looked good during training camp.

    POUNDING THE ROCK

    New Orleans and Jacksonville expect to get a brief look at their revamped ground games.

    Saints running back Terrance West is trying to prove hes the guy to fill in for Pro Bowl starter Mark Ingram, who will serve a four-game suspension to start the regular season.

    Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette dropped more than 15 pounds since the start of last season and will have a retooled line with All-Pro left guard Andrew Norwell.

    I feel healthier, said Fournette, down to 223 pounds thanks partly to 50 push-ups a night. I want to be great. That is my w.

  2. #2

    31.08.2018
    passat
    Tbilisi
    245,995

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  3. #3

    31.08.2018
    passat
    Tbilisi
    245,995

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