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lin chao (linchao)
Free Member · Join Date: 28 May, 2018 · Posts 345
7 Oct, 2018 · #1
NAPA Youth Luke Kuechly Jersey , Calif. (AP) — At last, a new face on the other side of the line.

The Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions conducted the first of two joint practices Tuesday in preparation for their preseason opener Friday at the Oakland Coliseum, allowing players on both teams to get a new perspective after practicing against teammates for the past two weeks.

“It was nice to see some new coverages, some different stuff,” Oakland quarterback Derek Carr said. “It was good for us. It’ll be good film. A lot of things happened today, good and bad things that we needed to have happen that we haven’t had happen in practice yet.”

The practice was conducted in a controlled environment after Raiders coach Jon Gruden met with first-year Detroit coach Matt Patricia in the offseason. The two friends mapped out the workouts well before the Lions arrived in Northern California.

Patricia said the joint practices offer an opportunity for rookies and young players from both teams to make an impression.

“For a lot of the young guys that haven’t stepped onto an NFL field with anyone except for their own teammates it certainly brings a different element from the standpoint of competitiveness and an evaluation standpoint,” Patricia said. “Even the veteran guys, it’s good to get out there and compete against somebody else. You kind of get into that rhythm and that mentality of going against the same guy every day.”

Unlike in previous years when the Raiders have held combined practices with the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, there were no fights and only a few minor scuffles.

Oakland linebacker Tahir Whitehead was at the center of one after hitting a Lions player who was getting up after making a long catch near the end zone. Whitehead, who played six seasons in Detroit, including the last four as a starter, also exchanged good-natured ribbing with Lions running back Ameer Abdullah during a goal line drill near the end of practice.

“It was fun getting a chance to catch up with the guys even though we’re chirping and everything going back and forth Chris Kreider Jersey ,” Whitehead said. “When I was there we did the same exact thing. We were going back and forth. It’s all competitive and we’re just trying to get each other better. This time I’m in the black and silver and it’s just a different feel.”

The teams went through individual position drills on separate fields before coming together on both fields for team scrimmages.

Fans filled the east stands while members of the military and a handful of youth football teams sat on the west side, adding a livelier feel to practice.

“The fans made it even better,” Detroit running back Kerryon Johnson said. “Everybody’s tired of hitting each other for however many weeks we’ve been going against each other. It’s a new face, a new venue. It made it fun and it made it like a real game and we really enjoyed it.”

Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford looked crisp while leading the Lions’ first unit. At one point he completed a deep throw to Marvin Jones Jr. for a touchdown after Jones raced past Raiders cornerback Antonio Hamilton.

Carr was equally sharp but threw his first interception of training camp when he was picked off by Detroit’s Darius Slay.

“On a stupid scramble drill, too,” Carr said. “I was bummed.”

Notes: Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah made it through his second practice after coming off the physically unable to perform list earlier in the week. “There’s certainly some different things for him that we’re going to have to learn this year to be able to do,” Patricia said. “Just getting him on the field is one step closer.” . Raiders running back Chris Warren provided the play of the day when he leveled Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis and sent the former first-round draft pick flying back.

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One of these seasons, the New England Patriots won't cruise through the AFC East to an easy division title and position themselves, more often than not, for a Super Bowl run.

One of these seasons, 40-something quarterback Tom Brady will begin showing his age and stop putting up MVP-caliber numbers. His lack of options at receiver will cause the offense to stall, the defection of another coordinator will fatally weaken the defense Ryan Getzlaf Jersey , and coach Bill Belichick's cold-blooded approach to his roster will backfire.

That is sure to happen, one of these seasons.

There's just no indication that it will be 2018.

When the defending AFC champions return to the field in pursuit of their sixth NFL title, there are no credible threats in the division (and only one in the conference: a Pittsburgh Steelers team that hasn't outlasted them in the postseason since 2010 or beaten them in the playoffs since 1997).

So while the Patriots appear to be vulnerable in several areas 鈥?tension between Brady and Belichick could be the biggest threat to the dynasty 鈥?there still doesn't seem to be anybody ready to knock them off the postseason podium.

Here are some things to look for from the Patriots this season:

AGELESS WONDER

Brady was 40 when he won his third NFL MVP last year, leading the league in yards passing and leading the Patriots to the Super Bowl for the eighth time. In the game, he threw for a record 505 yards and brought New England back from a 10-point, third-quarter deficit to take a 33-32 lead with nine minutes left.

That's a player who is at the top of the mountain, not over the hill.

BOUNCING BACK

But Brady was unable to muster another comeback after the Eagles retook the lead, and the lingering image of the game was Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles catching a touchdown pass while Brady let the ball thrown his way bounce off his hands.

It was the third Super Bowl loss for New England in the Brady-Belichick era.

So, how have they bounced back from previous big game losses?

In 2008, after a loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl spoiled New England's hopes for a perfect and unprecedented 19-0 season, Brady was injured in Week 1 and the Patriots went 11-5 under backup Matt Cassel but did not make the playoffs based on a tiebreaker.

In 2012, after another loss to Eli Manning and the Giants Womens Jordan Howard Jersey , New England went 12-4 but lost in the AFC title game to the Baltimore Ravens.

POOR RECEPTION

With the loss of Brandin Cooks (65 catches) and Danny Amendola (61), the Patriots are down their top two wide receivers from last year. Throw in Julian Edelman, who caught 98 passes in 2016 but was injured last year and is suspended for the first four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancers.

Until Edelman is eligible to return for the Oct. 4 game against Indianapolis, Brady's top targets are tight end Rob Gronkowski (69 catches), running back James White (56), and wideout Chris Hogan, who had 34 catches in nine games. Malcolm Mitchell, Jordan Matthews, Kenny Britt and Eric Decker were all brought in but didn't work out.

TEAM TURMOIL

The decision to bench Malcolm Butler, the hero of the 2014 championship, in this year's Super Bowl not only cost him a reliable member of the secondary, it also raised doubts about Belichick's judgment in New England 鈥?new territory for a team whose unofficial motto had been "In Bill We Trust."

Belichick has also clashed with owner Robert Kraft about the succession plan at quarterback: The coach was reportedly ready to move on from Brady to backup Jimmy Garoppolo Womens Allen Robinson Jersey , and when Kraft took sides with the player he treats like a son, Belichick gave Jimmy G. to San Francisco for the pittance of a second-round pick.

Belichick has also struggled to establish boundaries for Brady's fitness guru, Alex Guerrero, banning him from the sidelines and the team plane for a time. Guerrero was back in both places during preseason Week 3.

CALLING THE SHOTS

Longtime defensive coordinator Matt Patricia left to take over as head coach of the Detroit Lions, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels left for 鈥?and then backed out of 鈥?the top job in Indianapolis. Belichick did not replace Patricia, but linebackers coach Brian Flores will call the plays on defense.

Coaching churn is one thing the Patriots are used to, though. Charlie Weis, Bill O'Brien, Eric Mangini, McDaniels and Romeo Crennel are among those who earned promotions after serving on Belichick's staff, and he replaced all of them without difficulty.

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