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Custom New York Jets Jerseys

Candidates for New York Jets general manager job are very wary of taking the job without a long-term deal from the team.
Fans of the long-suffering New York Jets know they’re dealing with a team that can, at times, resemble a circus. While the circus narrative can be a little overblown at times, the team repeatedly makes it oh so easy to paint them with that brush.

While nobody can argue with the firing of Mike Maccagnan, the timing is interesting, as they allowed him to run a critical offseason before making the decision. Now the team might have trouble replacing their former general manager, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.

Anderson was told by a source that “No one really wants [the] job without [a] long-term deal” and that people are wondering “how much control is [the] new person actually going to have.” That’s certainly not something that fans will want to hear as the team tries to build around Sam Darnold.

The Jets have struggled with their reputation ever since Woody Johnson bought the team, but things had been seemingly looking up after Christopher Johnson took over. However, his forced marriage of Maccagnan and Adam Gase blew up before a game was played. The decision to fire Maccagnan after the meat of the offseason ended has some questioning whether the same old Jets are back.

The Jets will eventually find a general manager. There are only 32 NFL GM jobs and they are all coveted by executives looking to make a name for themselves, or by former executives looking to get back into the game. However, whether the team can get their first choice or not remains to be seen. It doesn’t look hopeful in Jets land at the moment though.

Custom Denver Broncos Jerseys

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — During the Broncos’ stretch of five consecutive AFC West titles from 2011-2015, Denver raced out to fast starts to seasons that forced their divisional opponents to either keep winning or fall behind.

Those quick and successful starts haven’t disappeared in the three years since the Broncos’ last playoff appearance.

In 2016, the Broncos started 4-0 and hit their bye at 7-3. In 2017, Denver started 2-0 before improving to 3-1. And last season, the Broncos again won their first two games.

The difference, though, has been the team’s inability to sustain that success. During their title defense, the Broncos lost four of six to close the season, beginning with a 30-27 overtime loss to Kansas City.
In 2017, the Broncos slipped up against the Giants in Week 6 and lost eight consecutive games. The Broncos fought back from 3-6 last year to even their record, but a slew of late-season injuries led to four consecutive losses and again kept them from the postseason.

Safety Justin Simmons and defensive end Adam Gostis — who were both drafted in 2016 and have not yet appeared in the postseason — know these midseason skids must end.

And new Head Coach Vic Fangio could play a sizeable role in making sure that happens.

“We just hit that skid,” Simmons said Thursday. “It’s obviously in the back of our minds and a point of emphasis that we want to hit on to make sure that a great start is great, but [also find] how to sustain that. I think Vic and his staff — [I’ve] absolutely have loved every second of OTA offseason practices that we’ve had. I think it will make a huge difference.”

From the moment Fangio arrived in Denver, the veteran defensive coordinator and first-time head coach declared he would not let this team die a “death by inches.” That is, he wouldn’t allow small mistakes to add up and create a larger crisis. Perhaps that will help in the Broncos’ attempts to bring playoff football back to Denver.
“Yeah, I think we just need to be consistent,” Gotsis said Thursday. “I think the last couple years we’ve started the season strong. We’ve been coming out with two, three wins and we’re looking really good. Then we kind of just fall into that lull of like three or four losses. Then we’re trying to gather ourselves again. So, we’ve got to come out and be consistent across all three phases: [special] teams, defense and offense. Hopefully, we can figure that out quick in this preseason and come to season time with us ready to go. There’s no looking back.”

Gotsis said the team could solve the problem in part by having a more granular focus.

“It’s we win a game and, ‘Who’s next?’” Gotsis said. “We can’t be thinking five weeks down the schedule, ‘We’ve got this guy,’ or, ‘We’ve got this guy.’ It’s every week is a championship week for us.”

Think of it as another example of prioritizing the inches.

Of course, a dominant defense would be a major step back toward contention. Fangio’s defense seems to have the right components, Simmons said.
“I think the biggest thing is you never know what is coming,” Simmons said. “It’s always a mix and match. We’re always moving around. We try to make it as tough as possible on everybody and spreading the equal plays around. That is where it becomes so communicative based because you have to be on the same page.”

Gotsis seems to agree that deception could help the Broncos find success on defense.

“We’re going to be in a lot more coverages mixed up in there,” Gotsis said. “So, hopefully we’re not just sitting there and the team just knows what we’re lining up in every snap and expose us as easily. We’re hoping to have a big impact this year and hopefully make a few more turnovers and put our offense in better positions. That’s one way we can help this team is score on defense or put us in scoring positions.”

As the Broncos aim to find sustained success, every point could be critical.

Custom Chicago Bears Jerseys

The Chicago Bears Centennial Scrapbook that chronicles the franchise’s first 100 years is an absolute masterpiece that’s a definite must-have for all Bears fans.

I’ve followed the Monsters of the Midway closely for almost 50 years (I’m much older than my boyish good looks would indicate) and there are entertaining anecdotes and amazing artifacts in the Centennial Scrapbook that I’ve never heard or seen.

One highlight in the book co-authored by longtime Chicago football writers Don Pierson and Dan Pompei is a ranking of the top 100 players in Bears history. I feel the two Hall of Fame writers did an excellent job on the list, which no doubt was a daunting task given that the Bears have had so many great players over a 100-yard period. (Their 28 Hall of Famers are the most from any NFL team.)

A list like this spawns impassioned debate on sports radio, at the corner bar and around the office water cooler, with seemingly everyone offering their opinions. So I figured I’d join the crowd and give you four of my takes on the list.

RELATED LINKS
Ranking best Bears of all time: Nos 1-25
Ranking best Bears of all time: Nos. 26-50
Ranking best Bears of all time: Nos. 51-75
(1) Quarterbacks Sid Luckman (No. 4) and Jay Cutler (No. 85) are ranked exactly where they deserve to be.

I’ve seen and heard comments from some fans on social media and on the radio questioning why Luckman is ranked so high and Cutler is so low.

Handpicked by none other than George Halas to help the Bears revolutionize pro football with the “T” formation, Luckman quarterbacked the Monsters of the Midway to four NFL championships in seven seasons in the 1940s. He was voted All-NFL five times, was named league MVP in 1943 and was selected to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1940s.

Just imagine if Luckman had accomplished those feats in a more recent era, like in the 1970s or ‘80s. He may have even challenged Walter Payton for the coveted No. 1 spot on the list. Even playing when Luckman did, I probably would have ranked him ahead of Bronko Nagurski at No. 3 behind Payton and legendary middle linebacker Dick Butkus.

Cutler supporters argue that he should be ranked higher because he owns all the Bears’ all-time passing records. But I disagree. The Bears haven’t exactly had a litany of All-Pro quarterbacks, and Cutler played at a time when most passers throughout the league posted bigger numbers than their predecessors in previous eras. In eight seasons with the Bears, Cutler was never considered among the best players at his position.

(2) My biggest disagreement with the list is that star middle linebacker Brian Urlacher deserves to be higher than No. 14.

Urlacher was not only a dominant generational player but the face of the Bears franchise for more than a decade. With his incredible combination of speed, size and power, he did things we’ve never seen an NFL middle linebacker do, which is one reason he was inducted into the Hall of Fame last summer in his first year of eligibility.

Urlacher started 180 of 182 games played with the Bears, recording a franchise-record 1,779 tackles, 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries and 11 forced fumbles. He was named the 2000 NFL rookie of the year and the 2005 NFL defensive player of the year. He was voted first-team All Pro four times and selected to eight Pro Bowls.

Urlacher helped the Bears win four division champions and one NFC title, enabling the franchise to reach the Super Bowl in 2006 for the first time since 1985. If I were constructing the list, I’d probably rank Urlacher No. 8 or 9.
(3) I agree with the rankings (and the order) of the three Hall of Famers on the famed 1985 Super Bowl championship defense, Dan Hampton (No. 11), Richard Dent (No. 12) and Mike Singletary (No. 15).

Hampton played all 12 of his NFL seasons with the Bears from 1979-90. He was voted to four Pro Bowls—two at defensive end and two at defensive tackle—and named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1980s.

Hampton ranks third in Bears history with 82.0 sacks. His value to the franchise was evident throughout his illustrious career, but especially in 1989 when the Bears opened 4-0 with him before stumbling to a 2-10 record after he had sustained a season-ending injury.

Dent made just as much as an impact. Playing 12 of his 15 NFL seasons with the Bears, he registered a franchise-high 124½ sacks and was named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XX.

Dent led the NFC with a Bears-record 17.5 sacks in 1984 before recording a league-leading 17 sacks in 1985 in helping the franchise win its first NFL title in 22 years. Dent registered 10 or more sacks in five straight seasons from 1984-88 and in eight of 10 years from 1984-93.

Singletary was voted to 10 Pro Bowls, the most in Bears history. He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1985 and ’88 and was voted to the league’s All-Decade Team for the 1980s. His 172 starts are the second most by a defensive player in Bears history and he finished first or second on the team in tackles in each of his final 11 seasons.

(4) Tackle Jimbo Covert (No. 13) and center Jay Hilgenberg (No. 18) both were key members of some of the best offensive lines in NFL history with the Bears in the 1980s, but I think they should swap spots on the top 100 list.

This is not a knock on Covert, who was a great player. But Hilgenberg performed at the same level as his teammate, but for a slightly longer period of time. The Iowa product started seven consecutive Pro Bowls, which is proof to me that he dominated his position and deserves to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Hilgenberg may be the most underrated player in Bears history. He joined the team in 1981 as an undrafted free agent and was named first-team All Pro five times in 11 seasons while appearing in 163 games with 130 starts.

In nine seasons with the Bears, Covert played in 111 games with 110 starts. He was voted to two Pro Bowls, named first-team All-Pro twice and selected to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1980s.

Custom Dallas Cowboys Jerseys

Editor’s note: This story has been updated following video surfacing of Ezekiel Elliott being handcuffed, but not reportedly arrested, at a music festival in Vegas over the weekend.

FRISCO — With each NFL season, Ezekiel Elliott has taken on a larger leadership role for the Dallas Cowboys.

The two-time rushing champ, who turns 24 in July, entered the league in 2016 as someone who mostly led by example.

He enters Year 4 as more of a vocal leader and the face of a team looking to get back to the NFC championship game for the first time in 24 years.

“I’m just excited about the group of guys we have,” Elliott said Sunday during his annual youth football ProCamp inside the Ford Center. “I’m excited about the talent we have on this team. I’m excited about the leadership group we have. I think we have a lot of the right pieces. I think we have a lot of promise for this season.”

Ezekiel Elliott playing QB at his annual youth football camp pic.twitter.com/affRD3refW

— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 19, 2019
During a sit-down interview with CBS 11 (KTVT-DFW) on Sunday, the two-time Pro Bowler was asked about maturing off the field.

“Just kind of growing up,” Elliott said. “I came into this league real young and had a lot to learn. I got those boo-boos, I messed up a couple of times and I learned from my mistakes. It made me a better person.”

Editor’s note: This story with the interview listed above was published before video surfaced of Elliott being handcuffed at a music festival in Vegas over the weekend. Read more about that incident here.

In that same CBS 11 interview, Elliott made it clear that he believes he’s “the best running back in the league,” adding that his statistics “speak for themselves.”

He also explained why he thinks the Cowboys are capable of being the league’s best team this season.

“I think we have a lot of the right pieces,” Elliott said. “I think we’re loaded at every position. We have a lot of depth and we have a great group of leaders and some great team chemistry going on. We just have to lay that foundation now and carry it through camp and make it happen during the season.”

Ezekiel Elliott’s message to the kids at his youth camp: “Just to work hard. Just to compete. It doesn’t just mean on the field, but off the field. In the classroom. If you’re at home, making your bed or you’re cleaning your room, just to pursue excellence in everything you do.” pic.twitter.com/IaLR0Su1Bg

— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 19, 2019
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