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hong wei (hongwei)
Free Member · Join Date: 29 Jun, 2018 · Posts 75
11 Aug, 2018 · #1
HOUSTON TEXANS (4-12)

OPEN CAMP: July 26 Trevor Bauer Jersey , Greenbrier, West Virginia

LAST YEAR: Texans had first losing record since 2013 as they dealt with numerous injuries, including to rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson and superstar defensive end J.J. Watt. Watson was bright spot in disappointing season for his play in seven games before he tore anterior cruciate ligament in right knee in practice. He threw for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns, giving Texans hope they’ve finally found franchise quarterback after years of misfires and disappointment. Another positive was continued improvement of 2014 top overall pick Jadeveon Clowney. Defensive end finished second in NFL with career-high 21 tackles for losses and his 9 1/2 sacks, 21 quarterback hits and two forced fumbles were also career bests. He had career-high 59 tackles and started all 16 games for first time in career after struggling with injuries in first two NFL seasons before playing 14 games in 2016

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: S Tyrann Mathieu, G Senio Kelemete, G Zach Fulton, OT Seantrel Henderson, CB Aaron Colvin, QB Brandon Weeden.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: LB Brian Cushing, OT Jeff Allen Youth Kolton Miller Jersey , OL Xavier Su’a-Filo.

CAMP NEEDS: Texans will have eye on two of their biggest stars who are returning to field after sustaining season-ending injuries last season. Watson must show surgically repaired right knee has healed and that he still has same burst and playmaking ability he showed as rookie last season. After Watt played eight games over last two seasons because of injuries, including broken left leg last season, Houston must see if Watt can return to Defensive Player of Year form. Texans will also use camp to see how offensive line fits together and hope revamped group protects QB much better than last season, when team allowed second-most sacks in NFL.

EXPECTATIONS: If Watson is healthy and can build on limited work as rookie, Houston’s offense will be much better. Defensive front will get boost if Watt can stay on field to play with Clowney, and secondary should be much improved with addition of Mathieu and Colvin. With Watson and Watt leading team, Texans should shake off last season’s struggles to contend for third AFC South title in four years.




John Tavares needed to post only one picture on his Twitter account to explain the grip the Maple Leafs have had on him since he was a youngster growing up in suburban Toronto.

The photo featured a not-yet-10-year-old Tavares in bed, asleep on a pillowcase and under a blanket adorned with Maple Leafs logos, and accompanied by a note that read: ”Not everyday you can live a childhood dream.”

In bidding farewell to the New York Islanders, where he was the captain and face of the franchise since being drafted with the No. 1 pick in 2009, Tavares chose Toronto and agreed to a seven-year, $77 million contract about an hour after the NHL’s free-agency signing period opened Sunday.

The 27-year-old Tavares spent last week assessing offers from the Islanders http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-p.j.-hall-jersey , San Jose, Toronto, Dallas, Tampa Bay and Boston. He called his decision the toughest of his life in choosing between staying in New York or taking ”a calculated leap of faith into an opportunity I believe will be special to me and my family.”

In the end, he was unable to avoid the lure Toronto presented, and informed the Maple Leafs he had chosen them late Saturday night.

”I just felt this opportunity was just so rare, the timing of where the organization’s at, and obviously the connection being from here,” Tavares said. ”I really believe there’s a big window here to win, to be part of something special. It just felt right.”

Tavares, whose 306 points over the past four seasons rank sixth among players over that span, was the highest-profile player to hit the market since the Minnesota Wild signed both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to matching 13-year Jordan Whitehead Color Rush Jersey , $98 million contracts.

Tavares’ signing led to a domino effect in player movement.

Toronto lost two forwards in free agency. James van Riemsdyk left the Maple Leafs after six seasons to return to Philadelphia, where he signed a five-year, $35 million contract. The Leafs also lost center Tyler Bozak, who signed a three-year, $15 million contract with St. Louis, which later on beefed up down the middle by acquiring Ryan O’Reilly in a blockbuster trade with the Buffalo Sabres.

Some of money the Lightning saved by not landing Tavares was spent on signing defenseman Ryan McDonagh to a seven-year, $47.25 million extension, which kicks in next summer.

Paul Stastny caused another ripple of moves in the Western Conference. He left Winnipeg to sign a three-year, $19.5 million contract with the Stanley Cup finalist Vegas Golden Knights – a spot left open after David Perron returned to St. Louis by signing a four-year, $16 million deal.

Vegas forward James Neal is among the more high-profile free agents still unsigned.

In Nashville, the Predators will turn their attention to negotiating a contract extension with defenseman Ryan Ellis, who is entering the final year of his contract. The Ottawa Senators are expected to do the same with their captain Cheap Avonte Maddox Jersey , Erik Karlsson.

Tavares’ signing has the potential of shifting the balance of power in the Eastern Conference.

He joins a young, talented group that already features Auston Matthews, the 2016 draft’s No. 1 pick, a veteran presence in Patrick Marleau and a top coach in Mike Babcock.

The Leafs, who haven’t won a championship since their last Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1967, have made strides in three years since Babcock’s arrival. Toronto has made the playoffs in each of the past two seasons after qualifying just once in the previous 11. And yet, they have not advanced past the first round since 2004.

Tavares specifically referenced Matthews and 21-year-old center Mitchell Marner, who led the Leafs with 69 points last season as reasons to be optimistic.

”They’ve accomplished so much in such little time. You can only think about the trajectory they’re on, and that’s what gets me excited,” Tavares said.

The Islanders experienced struggles even with Tavares by qualifying for the playoffs just three times in nine seasons.

Now they face a daunting uphill climb minus their unquestioned leader and point-a-game producer. In a bid to retain Tavares, the team underwent an organizational makeover in recent months. They hired Lou Lamoriello as president of hockey operations and fresh Stanley Cup winner Barry Trotz as coach.

”The New York Islanders would like to thank John Tavares for everything he has done for the franchise throughout his nine seasons,” Lamoriello said in a statement released by the team. ”We wish him and his family all the best.”

Bruins GM Don Sweeney expressed one lament in losing out on signing Tavares.

”I would have preferred it not be in our division Lions Authentic Jerseys ,” Sweeney said, referring to Tavares making the switch from the Metropolitan to Atlantic Division. ”We put our best foot forward. It just didn’t fall our way.”

Other notable deals:

-Veteran defenseman Jack Johnson signed a five-year, $16.25 million contract with Pittsburgh. The 31-year-old Johnson is a 12-year NHL veteran, who spent the past six-plus seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

-The Colorado Avalanche added two former Blue Jackets in signing defenseman Ian Cole and forward Matt Calvert to three-year deals. Cole gets $12.75 million and Calvert gets $8.4 million.

-The Sabres filled a need at goaltender by signing former St. Louis Blues backup Carter Hutton to a three-year, $8.25 million deal. Hutton will share the starting duties with Linus Ullmark, who is pegged to make the jump to Buffalo after three seasons in the minors.

-The Arizona Coyotes signed All-Star defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to an eight-year contract exte.

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