Jamie Collins ‘trying to change’ in promising second stint with Patriots

When New England Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins burst off the right edge and sacked Detroit Lions quarterback Tom Savage in the first quarter of the preseason opener Thursday night, it highlighted one of the top themes of training camp.

Collins has been a most disruptive defender, and his return to the team that traded him in 2016 has potential for explosive on-field fireworks.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

“I love having him back. That man’s a great ballplayer,” veteran safety Patrick Chung said. “He can do a lot for us.”

Collins could be Chung 2.0 — an example of a player who fell out of favor in his first stint with the team but returns with a fresh slate and becomes a key cog.1

Consider that when the Patriots traded Collins to the Cleveland Browns in the middle of the 2016 season, all they received was a late third-round draft choice. The deal shocked many players and seemed to be coach Bill Belichick taking an addition-by-subtraction outlook with Collins, who was in the final year of his rookie contract and eyeing a big payday.

Collins ultimately landed a four-year, $50 million deal from Cleveland, and now he’s back in New England on a modest one-year, $2 million deal.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

“It’s good to have Jamie back. Sometimes when guys leave here, they gain a little bit of perspective. Life happens. A lot of good things have happened in Jamie’s personal life off the field,” said team captain Matthew Slater, the Patriots’ third-longest-tenured player.
He also highlighted a message that his former Browns teammate, linebacker Christian Kirksey, had stressed on HBO’s popular “Hard Knocks” program last year.

“It’s always a part of it — playing for your family, especially when you have kids. You always have to find that ‘Why?’ Sometimes when it’s just you, it’s hard for you [to find it],” said Collins, who turns 30 in October. “As long as you have someone to play for, you’re good. And I do.”

Teammates have taken notice. Slater had previously connected with Collins through their shared connection to Mississippi; Collins grew up in McCall Creek and attended Southern Mississippi, while Slater’s father — Pro Football Hall of Famer Jackie Slater — grew up in Jackson.

“I’ve always had a good relationship with Jamie, always enjoyed his company, he’s always been a good teammate,” Slater said. “He’s been a lot of fun to have in the locker room. Obviously, you can’t miss his presence on the field. I think he’s grateful for the opportunity he has here, and we’re grateful to have him. It’s been good so far.”

Re-birth of Slash: NFL teams looking for the next Taysom Hill

Out on the practice field watching his defense compete against the New Orleans Saints last August, the breath-taking speed of Taysom Hill caught the attention of Los Angeles Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.

During joint practices and a preseason game against the Saints, Bradley and the Chargers got an up-close look at the versatility of a do-everything backup quarterback.

“You rarely see a guy that size with that type of speed,” Bradley said. “Sometimes you see speed and you go, ‘Well, he’s going to play wide receiver.’ But because of his size, he can play multiple positions.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Hill ran for an 11-yard touchdown, threw to Tre’Quan Smith for a 5-yard score and also converted a fake punt for a first down in a 33-7 exhibition win over the Chargers.

Wanting to add a similar athlete to an already-explosive offense, the Chargers selected North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick in the fifth-round of this year’s draft.2

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sought the same type of impact player in undrafted rookie Nick Fitzgerald out of Mississippi State, while the New York Giants signed Syracuse undrafted rookie quarterback Eric Dungey with the same purpose.

The Baltimore Ravens drafted Trace McSorley in the sixth round to back up athletic signal-caller Lamar Jackson.

“You saw what the Saints have done down there with their third quarterback,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said about McSorley. “That’s something we’ll have a chance to do, too, with Trace. He’s going to be able to play special teams as well. The more you can do. You want players with roles, and he’s a guy that has a chance to have a big role for us.”

Stick’s role on Chargersnike nfl jerseys cheap china

With Philip Rivers nearing the end of tenure as the team’s starting quarterback, Stick could be viewed as his eventual replacement: Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt likes the fact that Stick operated in a conventional offense at North Dakota State, taking snaps under center and using the play-action game, along with the spread concepts normally seen in the collegiate game.

However, Stick also totaled 2,523 rushing yards and 41 rushing touchdowns as a dual-threat quarterback for the Bison.

“I have the ability to run around and make plays outside of structure, try to be a good athlete and make different plays,” Stick said. “I feel like I can do a little bit of everything. Really, I’m just excited to be in that quarterback room and get an opportunity to learn.”

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn is intimately familiar with using a running quarterback effectively on offense. While serving as the offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills in 2016 under the direction of current Bolts’ backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Lynn’s unit led the league in rushing offense. Taylor contributed 580 yards and averaged 6.1 yards per carry with six rushing scores.

Suh: Negative reputation ‘irrelevant in my life’

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, formally introduced as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday, says his “dirty player” reputation has become “irrelevant” to his life and he believes people should get to know him before discerning what type of person he is.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

“I think when you look at people in general, you’ve got to get to know them, you’ve got to have face time with them, you’ve got to be able to have the opportunity to interact with them,” Suh said. “Before you pass judgment on somebody, always take the time to get to know them, meet them, have coffee with them, whatever it may be and then be able to go from there.

“I think when people have seen blips of me … it’s been in a negative light, rather than a positive light and that’s due to outlets of media, social media, whatever it may be. I can deal with that because I know who I am as a person, I know who my parents are, what kind of child they brought up — it’s irrelevant in my life. I think the people that know me the best see me always in a good light and see the troubles and tribulations that I’ve gone through, as any human being goes through in their lives.”
The most notable incident — when he stomped on the arm of a then-Green Bay Packers offensive lineman in 2011 — involved Evan Smith, who is now Suh’s teammate with the Buccaneers.1

“I think that was in the past and it will remain in the past,” Suh said of the incident. “We’ve interacted with each other multiple times throughout [the years]. He was actually the second guy I got to speak to when I got here today, so I don’t see any issue with it. I think people want to make it bigger than what it is. I’ll leave it at that.”

Coach Bruce Arians added: “They were hugging coming down the hallway together, so I don’t think there’s any problem. We’re all here to win, and once you’re in the same locker room you can forget all the past stuff. Some of that stuff happened a long time ago and I don’t really care. That doesn’t bother me. The way he plays football — I like that. So he’s a good fit for us.”

Suh was fined twice for over $40,000 last year, when he played for the Los Angeles Rams. Some have suggested that he has toned it down slightly, though. In the past two seasons, he has registered 14 penalties — 18th in the league.

“I think the proof is in the pudding. If you go back and look at the track record, it speaks for itself,” Suh said, adding that he believes he can be a leader in Tampa Bay’s young locker room, even if it’s not as a “rah-rah” type.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“I think I’ve always been a leader in my own particular way,” Suh said. “Whether I was a rookie in Detroit or a ninth-year guy in L.A., I’ve always been a leader of action. And I think actions speak louder than words. I’ve always prided myself on that. So however that kind of evolves in itself … I’ll lead in any way that is best for me, and at the same time that’s best for the team.”

Years of sorrow haven’t taken everything from Rams CB Nickell Robey-Coleman

In the Los Angeles Rams’ locker room, he’s among the most welcoming of faces. A stereo sits inside his locker, and many days he turns it up to provide a soundtrack for the room.

Robey-Coleman’s teammates describe him as their scrappiest player. He’s not only their 5-foot-8, 180-pound nickelback, he’s their hype man. Per usual, the defensive backs will look to him to provide inspirational words before they take the field against the New Orleans Saints in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

That’s what makes it so difficult to fathom. Underneath his exuberant and upbeat personality, the 27-year-old has already experienced some of life’s deepest sorrows.2

“I know everybody is going to say that’s what their mom was,” Robey-Coleman said, laughing. “But she was a great woman.”

Maxine believed in God and education, and she always had food and lemonade ready for any occasion. She taught Nickell how to be a man, from a woman’s perspective.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

It brought Maxine great joy when her 17-year-old son signed to play college football at USC, even though it meant he would move across the country from Frostproof, Florida, a tiny town of about 3,000 people, in the central part of the state.

But two weeks after he signed his letter of intent in February 2010, his world shattered.

Maxine had high blood pressure and a heart condition. Before he left for school one morning he made a quick check on his mom, who had recently been hospitalized, and found her on her bedroom floor.

For seven minutes before paramedics arrived, he performed CPR as his mother’s heart failed.

“My lungs aren’t as strong as they are now,” Robey-Coleman said. “But I tried my best.”

As medics tended to his mother, Nickell was told to go to school. But with the help of his high school coach, he later made his way to the hospital, where his family gathered.

Chris Jones uses gloves that ‘smell like a dead animal’ to chase sack streak

Defensive lineman Chris Jones was without a sack this season when he tried out a new pair of game gloves for the Kansas City Chiefs’ Week 5 contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jones got his first sack of the season that day. So he wore the gloves in the next week’s game against the New England Patriots. He got another sack.

Jones hasn’t changed gloves since and has at least one sack in 10 straight games, which ties an NFL record. He’ll go for the solo record Sunday night at the Seattle Seahawks.cheap nike nfl jerseys china
The Chiefs will happily accept a foul aroma coming from Jones’ gloves because he’s having a breakthrough season. Jones has 14 sacks, which leads the Chiefs and is 2.5 behind the NFL leader, Aaron Donald of the Rams.

Somehow, Jones wasn’t selected for the Pro Bowl. He seemed at peace with the snub before practice on Wednesday.

“I try not to get into any of that,” Jones said.1

Jones, who predicted in training camp that he would lead the NFL in sacks despite a total of 8.5 in two seasons entering this year, has his sights on more than Donald. He wants to break Justin Houston’s Chiefs record of 22 set in 2014.

“That’s the plan,” Jones said. “There’s a long ways to go. I know it’s a long shot, but I feel like I can.”

Jones is hopeful he can at least catch Donald because of his superstitions, of which the gloves are only one. He also eats at the same chicken restaurant every Monday with the same two people — fellow defensive lineman Xavier Williams and former teammate Jarvis Jenkins — and has a standing order.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“Even if I’m not hungry. I have to get the same meal, which is a chicken sandwich, a milkshake — milkshakes are delicious — two chicken breasts and three orders of fries,” Jones said. “I don’t eat all of this. It’s just the fact that I got it one time, had success with it, and I feel like if something’s not broken, why fix it?

“I pick through it. Of course I’m going to finish the shake. The shake is like the best thing ever. Dessert is always the best part of dinner.”

Chiefs still in control of playoff destiny despite loss to Rams

The Kansas City Chiefs lost their much-hyped battle against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday, but even in their disappointment in the moments afterward, they felt they really lost nothing at all.

“It’s like the college football thing when a No. 1 plays a No. 3 and loses, do you really bump them down?” tackle Mitchell Schwartz said. “They’re still two of the best three teams.”nike jerseys nfl cheap

Despite their 54-51 loss to the Rams, the Chiefs still feel they belong in the conversation with regard to legitimate Super Bowl contenders. They’re 9-2 with both losses — the other coming in Week 6 at the New England Patriots — on the road by a field goal against one of the NFL’s better teams.2

More importantly, the Chiefs are still in control of the race for the AFC’s No. 1 seed and home-field advantage in the playoffs. All of the conference’s other teams except the Pittsburgh Steelers have at least three losses. The Steelers have two plus a tie, and one of those losses was to the Chiefs in Week 2.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

The Chiefs have a couple of clear goals in mind when they return from this weekend’s bye to prepare for their Week 13 game against the Raiders in Oakland: Clinch their third straight AFC West championship and then secure the home-field advantage.

The Chiefs are 1½ games ahead of the 7-3 Los Angeles Chargers in the division race. The Chiefs beat the Chargers in L.A. to open the season and the rematch at Arrowhead Stadium is Week 15 on a Thursday night.

The Patriots, Texans and Chargers are the AFC teams with three losses, making them, as well as the Steelers, the competition for home-field advantage.

“The goal is to be playing either them or someone else in a couple of months,” Schwartz said of a Super Bowl involving the Chiefs and the Rams or another NFC team. “Getting the first seed in our conference is very helpful for that. … We understand how precious every single game is and making sure we keep winning games to maintain that No. 1 seed.”

Is it finally time to bet on Tiger Woods?

Managing emotion is perhaps the most important trait in successfully betting sports. The fear of missing out has hindered bettors since well before hashtags and the FOMO acronym were popular. Tiger Woods epitomizes this concept, and it baffles me.

I get the excitement. I notice the improved health. I see the shades of his vintage game. But so do reckless gamblers, and their illogical wagers prevent fair payouts.

“We get $1,000 bets,” Jeff Sherman, golf oddsmaker at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, told ESPN. “I don’t think you’ve ever seen true odds just because of the support he gets. When he was 50-1, true odds would have been 150-1.”cheap nfl jerseys with free shipping

The Westgate has posted 25-1 odds on Woods for this week’s PGA Championship, despite the fact that he is currently outside the top 50 in the world golf ranking, hasn’t won a tournament since 2013 and hasn’t yet strung together four strong rounds of golf this season. Put me in the camp believing his 10-year major championship drought will last forever. And yet all sportsbooks indicate he routinely ranks among the golfers with the highest ticket count.2

“He’s always going to have these people who obviously like him, cherish him and bet on him until he doesn’t play anymore,” South Point oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro told ESPN.

“They’ve won with him in the past,” Sherman said. “They’ve seen what he can do. They think at some point he can harness his talents.”

Well, here’s the truth. Tiger is not the same. He’s 42 years old and has endured too many injuries to list. He’s just over a year removed from back fusion surgery. He’s struggled in hitting his fairways this year, ranking 125th in strokes gained off-the-tee (-0.039) and 175th in driving accuracy (55.28 percent). But bettors are undeterred by a decade of losing tickets.

“People like betting the guys they like rooting for,” CG Technology vice president Jason Simbal said. “It’s the same reason TV network executives get excited when Tiger is in contention on Sunday.”

That dominance is long gone, but it sure was lethal. Between 1997 and 2003, he won 37 of 137 PGA events. That’s as many as the next three golfers combined. His 2006 campaign included a stretch of seven straight wins. Perhaps no golfer has been in better form than Woods in his 2000 season, when he began his Tiger Slam with three majors, including a record 15-stroke win at the U.S. Open.cheap stitched nfl jerseys free shipping

“We got our ass kicked every week,” Vaccaro said, sharing that Woods represented the highest liability and ticket count during his prime. At his apex, he was less than even money to win a tournament. “It’s hard to even fathom. Sixty-four guys, and you still had to lay money, and he still won.”

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