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the veteran newcome

 
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16.10.2018 - 10:55
# 12. Oktober 2018 - 07:53  melden melden       zitieren zitieren


PITTSFORD Falcons Elite Jerseys , N.Y. (AP) — The scars still visible on Zay Jones‘ right knee are a reminder of what could have happened in March, when the Buffalo Bills receiver was caught on tape, bloodied and naked, while arguing with his brother in a downtown Los Angeles apartment hallway.

“I could’ve lost my life, so I’m grateful to just be here and be on this field, and to be with my teammates,” Jones said Sunday, in speaking to reporters for the first time this offseason. “I don’t think there’s any other word that describes it, but just thankful and grateful.”

Though the second-year player declined to explain what happened, Jones said he’s now focused solely on securing his spot on the roster, rather than reflect back after practicing for the first time this year.

“I think I would be doing myself a very big disservice if I went back to there,” Jones said. “That moment was very traumatic for me and my family. And to rehash that now, at this point in time, it wouldn’t be doing me any good.”

Jones was activated off Buffalo’s non-football injury list 10 days into training camp and practiced on a limited basis.

The former second-round draft pick missed the team’s spring practices after coach Sean McDermott in mid-May announced Jones had knee surgery. McDermott wouldn’t reveal how or when Jones was hurt.

Jones wouldn’t shed much light on how the injury occurred.

“It happened a while ago, man,” said Jones, who also had shoulder surgery in January to repair an injury that nagged him for much of last season. “I’m just trying to move forward in the right direction.”

The 23-year-old Jones said he’s at peace, and grateful for the support from his coaches and teammates.

He was arrested after officers were called to a disturbance, where Jones was found “breaking glass doors and windows.” Prosecutors declined to file felony vandalism charges against him because of insufficient evidence.

Jones is coming off a disappointing rookie season in which he failed to play to the expectations he established at East Carolina, where Jones set an NCAA FBS record with 399 career catches at East Carolina.

He finished fifth on the Bills with 316 yards receiving and scored twice in 15 games.

Jones’ return overshadowed Bills starting receiver Kelvin Benjamin landing in hot water for questioning why the Carolina Panthers drafted him, and criticizing former teammate Cam Newton’s accuracy in an interview published in The Athletic on Friday.

“There’s a time and place for things like that. This was not one of them,” McDermott said. “I’ve spoken with Kelvin. And that’s now how I want us to handle things like that. So we’ll move forward as a team, and I’m hoping he’s already done that.”

Benjamin said he understood his coach’s concerns. In saying he doesn’t want to be a distraction to the team, Benjamin didn’t distance himself from what was published.

“It was just the heat of the moment,” he said. “I just got kind of frustrated but, like I said, I’m moving on from it.”

In the interview, Benjamin described being selected by the Panthers in the first round of the 2014 draft as being “a bad fit from the get-go.”

Without mentioning Newton specifically, Benjamin said he could have been more productive with “any other quarterback.” He then pinpointed several star quarterbacks, including Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers Adidas Logan Couture Jersey , in saying they had the knowledge and accuracy of placing a pass to a spot that makes it easier for a receiver to catch the ball.

Newton was not available for interviews following practice in South Carolina. Carolina coach Ron Rivera declined to discuss Benjamin’s comments because he’s a member of another team.

Panthers tight end Greg Olsen said he partially understood why Benjamin might be frustrated because things didn’t work out for him in Carolina.

“Things didn’t work out for him here, I get it,” Olsen said.

“You would like to see him move forward to his new team and embrace his new opportunity, rather than go personal on it,” he added. “But I have been shipped off from another team, too, so I get it.”

Benjamin’s past with the Panthers has been a touchy subject. In June, Benjamin told The Associated Press he was the one who asked the Panthers to trade him in a deal that eventually landed him in Buffalo in October.

He set team records for rookies with 73 catches, 1,008 yards receiving and nine touchdowns. He missed the entire 2015 season with a left knee injury, and totaled 95 catches for 1,416 yards and nine touchdowns in his next 24 games before being traded .

McDermott said one issue he had with Benjamin’s comments is that the Bills open their preseason Thursday hosting Carolina.

What makes Benjamin’s comments more awkward is McDermott and Bills general manager Brandon Beane previously worked together for the Panthers. McDermott spent six seasons as Carolina’s defensive coordinator before being hired by Buffalo in 2017.

Beane was the Panthers’ assistant general manager, and had a hand in drafting Benjamin.
— Gerald McCoy says he’s approaching his ninth training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the same way he has all the others.

The six-time Pro Bowl selection really doesn’t feel there’s any reason to change because attitude is a big part of his success.

“I always try and stay in the rookie mindset, always willing to learn more, knowing I can learn more, and just do my best to learn more,” the 29-year-old defensive tackle said.

“I’m not Gerald McCoy. I’m No. 93 on a 91-man roster, trying to make the team. Once I make the team, then I’ll be Gerald McCoy. … Until then, I’m just another guy trying to make the team.”

It’s not the first time a player of his stature has claimed the same thing, but there’s no disputing the 6-foot-4, 300-pound McCoy’s desire to get better and help the Bucs re-emerge as contenders.

Tampa Bay has missed the playoffs the past 10 seasons, the second-longest drought in the NFL behind the Cleveland Browns, who haven’t earned a playoff berth since 2002.

McCoy, who has 48½ career sacks and has been selected to play in six consecutive Pro Bowls, was the third overall pick in the 2010 draft.

Personal success, however, has been bittersweet.

A year ago, Tampa Bay’s defense ranked at or near the bottom of league rankings in several key categories, including passing Cheap Customized Denver Broncos Jerseys , total yards and points allowed, as well as sacks and third-down efficiency.

General manager Jason Licht and coach Dirk Koetter are counting on the trend changing after upgrading around McCoy with the offseason acquisition of veteran defensive linemen Jason Pierre-Paul, Beau Allen, Vinny Curry and Mitch Unrein, as well as first-round draft pick Vita Vea.

Pierre-Paul had 58½ sacks over the past eight seasons with the New York Giants. Allen and Curry were productive members of a deep defensive line rotation that helped the Philadelphia Eagles win the Super Bowl last winter, while Unrein was part of Denver’s AFC championship team five years ago. Vea was the 12th pick of the draft.

Understandably, McCoy is excited.

“We brought in four new guys that have all played in a Super Bowl, and three of them have won it. That’s a lot of experience. Guys who know what to do and how to do it — do it the right way,” the ninth-year pro said.

“Just the (defensive line) room overall is different, a lot of experience, and a lot of knowledge. Guys bouncing ideas off of each other, things you’ve never heard before. … It’s only just going to make us great in the long run,” McCoy added. “But, we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Curry, who started every game for the Eagles last season, said the linemen are building chemistry and learning more and more about each other every day in practice.

“My biggest thing is I’m telling everyone: winning is contagious,” Curry said.

“It’s the National Football League, everybody is good,” Curry added. “It comes down to discipline and how bad do you want it.”

McCoy is doing his part, too.

In addition to picking the brains of the veteran newcomers, he has been spending extra time after practice helping some of the younger players trying to earn jobs.

McCoy recalls the early years of his career, when there weren’t any experienced defensive linemen on the team to take him under their wings.

“I can honestly say I had no help. When I say help, I mean guidance as far as how to play this (pro) game, at least from a defensive line standpoint,” McCoy said. “I don’t want any D-linemen to come through Tampa, while I’m here, and be able to say that. … I never want guys to have to experience what I did.”
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