182

Meet the FCS prospect who became the NFL draft’s top TE

Larson had delivered Dallas Goedert, a program-changing star who would go on to be a projected first-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Stiegelmeier, however, wasn’t feeling it.

“The tape was really rough, actually,” he said.nfl jerseys for cheap “I saw a big guy who could control his body, but I did not see a dominant football player.”

There was no time to waste on a single prospect from a town of 1,250. Stiegelmeier stopped at Britton-Hecla High School once to watch Goedert play basketball but continued recruiting elsewhere. A few months later, Larson called again. He had just volunteered at a track meet where Goedert was tossing the discus like it was a piece of bread.

Life can turn on the chance of a random gift. Goedert wouldn’t have made it to South Dakota State without Larson’s repeated intervention. And if Goedert hadn’t made it to South Dakota State, albeit an FCS school, he would never have stuck the one-handed catch that catapulted him into the national consciousness. He wouldn’t have competed against FBS opponents such as Kansas and TCU. And, without a doubt, he would never, ever have become a projected first-round pick.

Goedert could be the first tight end selected when the draft opens April 26. The team that takes him will get 256-pound tight end with 10-inch hands like Odell Beckham Jr. and an affinity for dramatic plays. It will also take on a unique character who rides a 6-foot unicycle for fun, is ready to bust out from small-town stereotypes and isn’t opposed to wearing a leopard-print Snuggie to embarrass his sisters in public.182

“I like to bring the flair,” he said. “Fans of the city I go to will like it. If people are wondering what they’ll be getting, I’d say to think about how much fun and how much energy I’ll bring.”

You can trace Goedert’s elite receiving skills to the nighttime routine he began as an 8-year-old, when he would refuse to sleep until his stepfather, Gary Carlson, agreed to throw him footballs from his bedroom doorway.

Goedert showed up on the Brookings, South Dakota, cheap nfl jerseys campus in 2013 amid little fanfare. He redshirted his first year, then caught 34 passes over his next two seasons as he added 60 pounds. From the beginning, however, Goedert brought with him undeniable assets: big hands and a star’s mindset in deploying them.

To find gloves that fit, the school submitted a special order to Under Armour for size XXXL. With those mitts, attached to 34-inch arms on a 6-5 frame, Goedert could reach over any FCS defender.

181

Jason Garrett says he’ll always love Dez Bryant, but release best for Cowboys

Bryant went three straight seasons without 1,000 yards and was set to count $16.5 million against the cap in 2018. After much internal deliberation, Garrett said the decision was made to part ways with the franchise’s all-time leader in touchdown catches.

“Dez Bryant has been a great player for this franchise during his time here,” Garrett said Tuesday at the Albertsons Companies All-Star Gala in which Pat and Emmitt Smith were presented a Lifetime Achievement Award for their charity work. “Certainly a playmaker, a difference-maker. A guy that we all love. Love him as a player, as a person and that will never change.

“It’s a challenging situation. A lot of different factors go into these kinds of decisions and again the guidepost for all of this is: What’s in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys?authentic nfl jerseys cheap And that’s why we made this decision. Wish Dez nothing but the best going forward. He’s a special guy. I love him. I will always love him and the impact that he’s made on this franchise has been significant.”181

In an interview with NFL Network after his release, Bryant referred to “Garrett guys” and players who wear the “C,” as captains, as playing a part in the team’s decision. Dak Prescott, Jason Witten and Sean Lee were three of the Cowboys’ six captains in 2017.

“For me, I mean being a quarterback, being a captain, I take the blame,” Prescott said. “I take all the blame. When you lose, things like this happen. So Dez knows how I feel. We’ve shared messages and he knows my stance on everything so I wish him well.”

Bryant and Witten became close over the years, especially since Bryant moved into the same neighborhood as the Pro Bowl tight end. Witten said last Friday “was an emotional day for all of us,” but defended the captains.

“I don’t know what all that’s about,” Witten said. “I know when you go through these processes there’s a lot of things that probably go into it. I know I enjoyed my time with Dez and I think that I appreciated everything that we were able to do. Certainly invested a lot in him and he has helped me become a better player, nfl jerseys for cheap too. So I appreciate that time together. Look, being a captain is a huge honor for me and the other guys and I know what those guys’ character is all about. There’s really nothing there.”

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Dez Bryant Cut by Cowboys in Meeting with Jerry Jones

The Dallas Cowboys reportedly released wide receiver Dez Bryant on Friday.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Todd Archer reported Friday that the Cowboys planned to part ways with Bryant barring a “change of heart” following a meeting between nfl jersey free shipping the wideout and team owner Jerry Jones. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport later reported Bryant had been released and noted the meeting was short.

The 29-year-old originally signed his five-year, $70 million contract after the 2014 season, which featured a first-team All-Pro selection and an NFL-best 16 touchdowns. He produced 41 total touchdowns from 2012-14 while averaging 1,312 receiving yards per season.

His production hasn’t been the same over the past three years, however, averaging just 678 yards per season. He missed 10 games due to injury during this stretch and totaled just 17 touchdowns.

This caused plenty of speculation about Bryant’s future with the team considering his exorbitant cap hit.

The Cowboys added receivers Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson in the offseason, and while the team said at the time they weren’t replacing Bryant, per David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, it appeared to be the beginning of the end for him.

“We’re going to be grinding it out and trying to determine what is in the best interest of our business,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said of the receiver in February, per Drew Davison of the Star-Telegram.

Even while Jones acknowledged he wanted Bryant to remain with the team, he also said he needed to have a conversation with the receiver about his contract, per Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram.

It seems the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement, so the three-time Pro Bowler will enter free agency.

There should be a sizable market for Bryant, who, wholesale nfl jerseys free shipping even with his recent struggles, is still a game-changing player in the red zone. A short-term contract to rebuild his reputation could certainly be possible.

135

Reuben Foster Won’t Participate in Offseason Workouts

The San Francisco 49ers will hold linebacker Reuben Foster out of offseason team activities, the team announced Sunday.

“[Foster] will not participate in team activities as he is tending to his legal matters,” 49ers CEO Jed York, general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan said in a statement, nfl jerseys cheap china free shipping per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. “As previously stated, his future with the team will be determined by the information revealed during the legal process.”

Police arrested Foster in February on allegations of domestic violence, and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday it was bringing charges, including felony domestic violence, against him.

In an official statement, the district attorney’s office said Foster’s live-in girlfriend was bruised and suffered a ruptured eardrum. The girlfriend also told authorities Foster “dragged her by her hair, physically threw her out of the house, and punched her in the head eight to 10 times.”

Shortly after the charges were announced, the 49ers said they had been made aware of Foster’s situation but indicated he’d remain with the team. Foster’s status with San Francisco “will depend on what is learned through the legal process,” according to the 49ers (h/t Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports).

NFL Network’s Jim Trotter reported the NFL wouldn’t place Foster on the commissioner’s exempt list until the league wraps up is own investigation into the allegations. As a result, nfl jersey free shipping it was up to the 49ers as to whether he would participate in any offseason workouts.

86

The Patriots Would Have Regretted Trading Rob Gronkowski

Now that the New England Patriots traded wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported that the Pats will not be dealing superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski.

If that’s the case, nfl jerseys cheap shop New England fans have dodged a bullet.

Had Patriots head coach Bill Belichick opted to trade Gronkowski, he would have run the risk of entering the 2018 NFL season with a roster lacking the talent to compete with emerging NFC heavyweights, as well as New England’s top-flight AFC counterparts.

A Gronkowski trade would have given fellow Super Bowl contenders such as the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints a leg up on a Patriots roster that is quickly resembling a shell of its former self. And a deal involving Gronk could have even tipped the AFC scales in favor of the Pittsburgh Steelers (who have more top-end talent as is) or the Jacksonville Jaguars (who are already much deeper).

The Patriots have made three of the last four Super Bowls, but as team that hasn’t drafted a player in the top 25 since 2012, New England has become too thin to sacrifice Gronk.

They might have won the AFC Championship in both 2016 and 2017, but the Pats cruised through one of the weakest divisions in the weaker of the two conferences. And according to Football Outsiders’ adjusted games lost formula, only 10 teams were healthier during that span.

Although the Patriots went 13-3 in 2017, tbey ranked lower than the Eagles, Vikings, Rams, Saints and Steelers in terms of DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) at Football Outsiders.

And while at least Philly, Minnesota,nfl shop free shipping Los Angeles and New Orleans appeared to get better in free agency, New England lost stalwart left tackle Nate Solder, playmaking cornerback Malcolm Butler, flashy running back Dion Lewis and productive veteran wide receiver Danny Amendola in March before trading Cooks to the Rams this week.

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Cowboys Staffer: After Last Year Dez Bryant ‘Does Very Few Things Really Well’

Suffice it to say not everyone in the Dallas Cowboys’ coaching staff is sold on Dez Bryant as an elite receiver.

“Based on last year,nfl jersey shop he does very few things really well,” a Cowboys staff member told Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.

Bryant, 29, will apparently be on the Cowboys’ roster despite looking like a cut candidate this offseason. He carries a $16.5 million cap number for the 2018 season, which includes $12.5 million in base salary, numbers that both far exceed his recent production.

Bryant recorded 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns last season. He’s not had a 1,000-yard campaign since 2014, and members of the Cowboys staff are starting to take notice.

“He can’t run by anyone anymore. He lacks explosion, evident in the loss of inches off his vertical,” Breer wrote. “He’s still inconsistent as a route-runner. He’s hard to count on for Dak Prescott. And as some there see it, he’s not doing enough to counteract all of that.”

Bryant has said he does not plan on taking a pay cut. He also added he still sees himself as one of the best wideouts in football.

“I don’t know, but if that came about, I’m still Dez Bryant,” Bryant told reporters. “I’m still going over the top. If it’s there where I can grab it, I’m going to grab it. That’s who I am.”

The Cowboys signed Allen Hurns this offseason to bolster their receiving corps. nfl jerseys cheap shopHowever, it appears both Bryant and Hurns will be on the roster.

50

How to survive as a ‘dinosaur’ trying to make the modern NFL

Khalid Hill started reaching out on social media. He realized he was one of the few who played his position — he knew that before the process of going from college to the NFL even began — and he wanted to connect with those who would understand.

Start a conversation. Create a bond. reebok nfl jerseys Fullbacks play one of the most brutal, unforgiving positions in the game. Yet they also realize, these days, how rare they are.

A half-century ago, fullbacks were an integral part of college and professional offenses. Now, they barely exist. The evolution of offense eliminated the position at some college programs. NFL teams, with 53-man roster limits, don’t always elect to carry a fullback. It is, other than long-snapper, perhaps the least-heralded position in football. Every team needs to have a long-snapper, even if it is someone who also plays another position.

Not every team needs a fullback. Even when a team might, sometimes that ends up being a guy moonlighting, as the Detroit Lions did with linebacker Nick Bellore last season. That has left the college fullback in a tough position when trying to make a transition to the NFL.

“Being a fullback is such a dead position. People don’t really use it,” Hill said. “So you’re going to not really find many teams that are going to draft a fullback, you know what I’m saying? They’re not going to really do that because they are going to use you — what? — two or three times a game, depending on the offense. So you want to be as versatile as you can and do as much as you can because coaches like to see that.”

A fullback is a throwback in name but a utility player in practice. These days, he’d better be able to handle throws from his quarterback or possibly be able to throw passes himself as part of a trick play. He’s a guy without a defined position on a team, if there’s a roster spot for him at all.

Jaylen Samuels, considered a fullback and H-back at North Carolina State, was a tight end at the combine. Hill began at Michigan as a tight end before moving to fullback and is nfl authentic jerseys cheap consuming hours of Delanie Walker highlights to try to become a fullback/H-back/tight end.

49

NFL players have succumbed to protest pressure

From Robinson to Ali, the power of player activism has always been rooted in its moral imperative. The recent wave has been no different, motivated by moments like in August 2014, when Ferguson police shot Michael Brown dead and left his body on the street, baking in the summer heat for hours.authentic nfl jerseys cheap Or when police choked Eric Garner to death that same summer, or killed Philando Castile and Terence Crutcher in 2016. People filled the streets to protest the violence. Players like Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid joined them in on-field protests.

The sports world did its best to kill the protests, aided by a media that largely refused to understand the revolt and by the willful ignorance of owners and fans who never believed this part of America was a problem. The efforts appear to have succeeded. Kaepernick is still without a job. Reid, a free agent safety, said on March 22 that if signed by a team he would discontinue his two-year practice of kneeling during the anthem in protest of police brutality. The next day, Malcolm Jenkins, Anquan Boldin and Devin McCourty — three members of the Players Coalition, a group of activist players that in November negotiated with owners an $89 million partnership to contribute to social causes — gave the keynote address at a Harvard seminar on criminal justice reform. Speaking about on-field protest, McCourty told USA Today, “That was a vehicle that we used to draw attention, but doing some type of protest on the field every week is not going to stop an unarmed black kid from getting killed.”

The players have clearly succumbed to the prolonged hostility to their cause and suffer a terribly absent sense of self. Their union is ambivalent toward protest, even as jobs are being threatened. Kaepernick, the hero to the people who never quite wanted to lead the people, is still an unquestioned inspiration to millions, but he hasn’t spoken nationally in more than a year. In the void, his moral urgency has been co-opted. Unwilling to couple labor solidarity to protest, the players let Kaepernick die professionally, sacrificing their one strength management feared: the power of their numbers. The coalition said their partnership wasn’t a quid pro quo to end protests, yet that is what it has become. nfl jerseys for cheap Players took ownership’s money without asking for fairness. Kaepernick and now possibly Reid, who remained unsigned heading into April, have been the human cost — and everyone seems all right with that.

3

How can the Cowboys make a crowded receivers room work?

At some point this week, Jerry Jones hopes to meet with Dez Bryant to discuss the the wide receiver’s future with the Dallas Cowboys.

“Obviously we’ll get on point relative to this offseason, coming year, his health, how he’s doing, how he feels about his conditioning, working out, all of those kinds of things,” cheap nfl jerseys Jones said last week from the NFL owners meetings. “Certainly we’ll talk about our business.”

The business has been seared into the minds of Cowboys fans this offseason. Bryant is set to make $12.5 million in 2018. He is set to count $16.5 million against the salary cap. Executive vice president Stephen Jones has said the Cowboys need to look at Bryant’s contract, but there have not been discussions yet about a pay cut.

Perhaps this week there will be a resolution, but Jerry Jones said he has not had a thought about not having Bryant on the Cowboys roster in 2018.

He said this after the Cowboys added Deonte Thompson and Allen Hurns in free agency. They are added to a group that, at present, has Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Noah Brown, Ryan Switzer, Lance Lenoir, Brian Brown and KD Cannon. He also acknowledged the Cowboys could select a receiver in the first round of the draft at the end of the month.

So how would the Cowboys make it all work, especially with an offense that will likely be run-first with running back Ezekiel Elliott? The answer falls on coach Jason Garrett.

“We’re going to have the same number of receivers on our team and the same number of plays in the game,” Garrett said. “We still want to be a team that is balanced and attacks a lot of different ways. cheap nfl authentic jerseys Every team in the league has that complement of guys. I think the more you can upgrade the talent and the competitiveness at each position, it’s going to bring out the best in everybody. I do think our style of play will be consistent with what it’s been. We want to be a physical team. We want to be able to run the ball. We want to be able to attack the defense in passing game. And we’ll continue to try to do that.

1

Bill O’Brien confident Deshaun Watson’s instincts will keep him healthy

The Houston Texans — and the rest of the NFL — found out last season that perhaps the most impressive part of Deshaun Watson’s game was his ability to use his legs to extend plays. authentic nfl jerseys cheap Now, coming off ACL surgery, Watson has to be especially smart about doing so, although head coach Bill O’Brien said he is confident in his young quarterback’s instincts to protect himself.

In six starts last season, Watson frequently made plays after the pocket collapsed and was a big part of the reason why Houston ranked 14th in the league in rushing; in seven games, Watson ran for 269 yards on 36 carries for 2 touchdowns.

Watson tore the ACL in his right leg during a practice last season on a drill in which he was simply handing the ball off to a running back — although he told ProFootballTalk this offseason that he thinks he loosened his ACL on a hit he took the Sunday prior against the Seattle Seahawks.

The Texans looked like a totally different team after Watson’s injury, with the less-mobile Tom Savage and T.J. Yates combining to go 1-8 the rest of the season. And while O’Brien has said the team needs to be smart about protecting Watson, who also tore the ACL in his left leg during his freshman year at Clemson, he also knows he can’t change a huge part of Watson’s game out of fear.

Part of the reason why O’Brien and the Texans can feel that way is because the head coach thinks Watson has “a knack for sliding and for ducking out of bounds” before he takes a hit.

“He has a really good instinct for maybe gaining the 5 or 6 yards and then going down before he takes the shot,” O’Brien said. “That’s a big thing that young quarterbacks usually have a problem with. nfl jerseys for cheap He seems to have an instinct for being able to stay out of harm’s way.”

Although Watson has good instincts to protect his body, O’Brien said the coaching staff has gone over being smart outside the pocket with the 22-year-old.