“I think he realized that he had more to accomplish,” MSU teammate Larry Caper says

uring those heat-soaked days of rehab in the late spring and early summer, Bell and Bommarito rehearsed their secret weapon — they were ditching traditional running back drills for full-speed acceleration/deceleration work on a track, training the body to start and stop efficiently without overloading knee joints.

Now, at his locker, which is among the most circulated in the Steelers facility, Bell outstretches his right leg and points to various parts of his thigh and hamstring on his Steelers mesh shorts. When it comes to his command of each run with fluidity, “[the training] made all the difference,” he said.

To unwind after those workouts, Bell would often scan his social-media accounts, retweeting compliments and taking mental notes of doubters. More fuel. Looking for a blueprint for post-knee-injury success, Bell found himself watching YouTube videos of Adrian Peterson’s wildly successful comeback from a torn anterior cruciate ligament on his way to 2,097 yards in 2012.

“He won an MVP,” Bell says. “I said, ‘Why can’t I have a season like that?'”

He got close this year. But play a full season, and Bell might answer his own question. He has a plan for that, too. What’s the goal? Another 2,000? 2,500?

Another smirk, a look down at the floor and a goal quietly spoken into existence.

“I’m trying to get 3,000,” he says.

“He’s definitely about his business and handling things like a grown-up more than ever,” Caper says. “You can tell that difference. Not that he wasn’t before, but life can hit you fast, and I think he realized that he had more to accomplish.”

England and Europe fans are excited for the NFL

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Based solely on my interviews with English and European fans who have turned the Wembley games into lucrative sellout events, here’s what I can explain with some confidence to American, and European, NFL fans:

Yes, England and Europe fans are excited for the NFL. The interest in Europe is very, very real. Did the machinations of Roger Goodell’s Godless globalization conspiracy generate that? Probably? Maybe? But it worked. My advice to any American still incredulous about the NFL’s legitimacy abroad is to examine the stateside growth of soccer and American interest in the World Cup, Premiership and MLS.

Bryant fits the bill as a No. 1 receiver essentially anywhere in the league, and the 26-year-old should be expected to turn in a similar season to what he managed in 2014. His biggest concerns come from off-field issues. While Bryant hasn’t been missing time due to any league punishments, a report from Rapoport in November suggested that the Cowboys were worried about Bryant’s life outside of football and were hesitant to give him a long-term contract as a result. Those issues included six instances of police being called to Bryant’s home, though arrests were never made.

Andre Williams Jersey Alongside running back DeMarco Murray, Bryant was a big reason for the Cowboys’ success in 2014. After disappointing finishes the past few seasons, Dallas went into the playoffs with a 12-4 record and had a shot at a first-round bye as late as Week 17. The Cowboys could only franchise tag one player, and chose Bryant over Murray, who then signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in the offseason.

With the new contract that makes him the second-highest paid receiver in the league, it’s clear that the team thinks Bryant is a major key to the offense going forward.

Josh Akognon’s international experience isn’t limited to China

Akognon makes no qualms about what convinced him to go China. It was purely a business decision when he signed with Dongguan after weighing offers from European clubs in 2010.

Elite Kids Steven Stamkos Jersey “I’d never heard of the CBA, but when they told me the money, then you start looking at everything else,” Akognon said. “I realized that Marbury was playing there, so I started looking at it more. … As long as they said that money was where it was at, I was sold, and I was ready to go.”

“We’ve had these conversations all the time,” Wade said. “You got to learn a lesson. You keep taking bumps like this, you either learn the lesson and figure it out or you don’t learn it and you continue to keep doing the same thing. Keep putting your hand on the hot stove every day. We just got to figure out how not to put our hand on that hot stove and understand when we come in the kitchen, that stove hot — don’t touch it.”

Elite Mens Mika Zibanejad Jersey The Bulls keep burning their own hands, though. Aside from the lackluster effort and errors early in the game, the flaws that have been present all season remain. The late-game offense, centered around isolation sets for Wade and Jimmy Butler, remain too predictable. The Bulls’ defensive miscues allowed for Mavericks swingman Wesley Matthews to drill a wide-open, game-winning 3 with 11.7 seconds left.

“We weren’t guarding at times, we were making stuff up on the defensive end,” a frustrated Butler said. “Also on the offensive end, if you don’t do what you’re supposed to be doing that we go over every day in the scouting report and get ready for these teams, then stuff happens. You get down and then you got to claw your way back — which we were pretty good at doing that, but we’re putting ourselves in that situation.”

James Harrison, Steelers don’t break in K.C.

Ben Roethlisberger seemingly disappeared in the Arrowhead fog as he rolled to his right with two Chiefs defenders surging. His favorite target, Antonio Brown, burst from the left side of the formation into a juke-filled crossing route, and into the Kansas City night.

Big Ben. On the run. Strike. Ballgame. 18-16 Steelers.

The throw on third-and-4 with 2 minutes left, the Kansas City Chiefs out of timeouts, sealed the AFC divisional playoff but also stayed true to the Steelers’ entire evening, or the last two months.

They took blow after blow but never broke.

The Chiefs didn’t have two of their best players — running back Jamaal Charles and linebacker Justin Houston — for much of the season. Rookie Tyreek Hill, a fifth-round draft pick, gave the Chiefs many of the big plays they might have received from Charles. He led the Chiefs in touchdowns with 12, including three on special teams. No other Kansas City player had more than five.

Limited Mens Stephone Anthony Jersey Tight end Travis Kelce also set career highs with 85 catches and 1,125 yards. On defense, Dee Ford emerged in Houston’s absence to collect 10 sacks in the first nine games, but he was shut out the rest of the way. Safety Eric Berry was the Chiefs’ best defensive player. He had a pick-six and a pick-two (on an Atlanta attempt for two points after a touchdown) to give the Chiefs an important one-point win late in the season. But the Chiefs couldn’t advance in the postseason beyond their opening game.
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Biggest draft need: Inside linebacker. The Chiefs need to find the eventual replacement for longtime starter Derrick Johnson, who has been an effective player against both the run and the pass for years. But Johnson will turn 35 next season and will be coming off a torn Achilles tendon that ended his 2016 season in early December. Johnson might return as an effective player for another season or two, but it’s time for the Chiefs to prepare for life without him.

He’s everything a team wants out of a DE in a 4-3 scheme

Connor Cook, QB (senior): Cook has amassed a 23-3 record in two years as a starter, won two bowl games and led MSU to the best offensive season in program history last year. He still struggles some with consistent footwork. Cook can also make some poor decisions in big moments, like interceptions against both Stanford and Baylor in those bowl games. Still, Cook’s resiliency and prototypical quarterback measurables make him an elite prospect.

Shilique Calhoun, DE (senior): As a sophomore, Calhoun broke out with 7.5 sacks and three defensive touchdowns en route to being named Big Ten defensive lineman of the year. As a junior, Calhoun didn’t increase his pass rush production as much as hoped, getting eight sacks. Calhoun is a well-rounded defensive end with the ability to both stop the run and get after the passer. He’s everything a team wants out of a DE in a 4-3 scheme.

Mallett also played quite well, completing 10 of 11 passes for 90 yards, with no touchdowns but also no interceptions. Neither quarterback was sacked, and the Texans have to feel encouraged by this one. If these guys continue playing well and make the starting decision a tough call, it will be a good problem to have for the Texans.

Dannys back folks and the odds-on favorite for comeback player of the year announced his presence with a lil 8-yard TD scamper verse the Cowboys last week. There wasnt a dry eye in my house when the Newsboy ran one in for 6, and tossed the ball back to the official like he’s been there before.

One thing thats important to note is that while yes, there may of been a huge hole for Danny to hit, you have to take into account the fact that his offense of line blocks alot harder for him than they do for other, more physically imposing running backs. Its like a exit poll during an election, if you have a lot of confidents in your RB, your going to slack off and not block as hard.

Defensively Joseph inherits a unit that could play 4-3 or a 3-4

Elway also called staying “great” on defense the “No. 1 priority” for the Broncos this offseason. He believes the ability to relate to players and manage the locker room is as important as any strategic decision.

Joseph is a respected communicator — Dolphins coach Adam Gase said as much Wednesday when he said that Joseph “did a great job with our players” — who earned his way with the nuts-and-bolts coaching as well.

He simply wouldn’t have been hired if Elway and Co. didn’t like what he had to say about his plans for the team’s offense. Former Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and former Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave are already set to interview for the coordinator job.
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Defensively Joseph inherits a unit that could play 4-3 or a 3-4. He has coached both schemes and the Broncos have played both in the last three years. The defense includes three first-team All Pros in cornerbacks Chris Harris Jr and Aqib Talib, and linebacker Von Miller.

“He’s obviously had great success so far in his career, but it hasn’t changed him. He has the same attitude,” McCourty said. “For me being a little older, it’s been great watching his growth and watching him get better day-in and day-out.

Butler, who is one of football’s best financial bargains at a $600,000 base salary, will be a restricted free agent after the season. It would be a surprise if the Patriots don’t tender him at the first-round level, assuming the sides don’t strike a longer-term extension before that.

Game Mens Vincent Valentine Jersey Those business-based decisions will come in time, but for now, it’s all football and Bill Belichick has nothing but praise.

6 NFL teams that went from playoffs to pathetic in just 9 months

With teams like the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers reigning over their respective divisions through the first five weeks of the season, many of the same teams that are stalwarts in the postseason are still dominating in 2015.

“Look at the things that happened in that game,” Seattle safety Earl Thomas said. “Even down to the last kick, it hit the upright and bounced in. Wow! This is what football does. This is what football is. We’re being challenged now.”

Yes, they are, with another hit-you-in-the-mouth team coming up next, the Carolina Panthers, who travel to Seattle next Sunday.

Josh Brown Game Jersey Like the Bengals, the Panthers (4-0) are undefeated.

“Ultimately, we have to go back to being the team that finishes games,” Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse said. “You can pinpoint a lot of things but that has to be a part of everything.”

And it’s not just the word “finish,” not just the message — “That’s too easy,” Carroll said.

Josh Brown Game Jersey It’s what the film says to him, he insisted. It’s what he brings to his team afterward in scheme, coaching and focus that matters.

The Seahawks started 3-3 last season before reaching the Super Bowl. They believe in what they can be. They believe they have done it before, and they can do it again.

The rest of the NFL, however, is not blinking.

“We’ll see,” Kearse said. The Steelers have only intercepted two passes this season, and with Rivers among the league leaders in passing yards, San Diego will attack through the air as often as possible. That passing attack will be even more dangerous this week with Antonio Gates returning from a four-game suspension.

Will Dak Prescott’s and Ezekiel Elliott’s success so far carry into the playoffs?

¡°No,¡± Elliott said, not offering a reason why until prompted.

¡°Because we¡¯re competitors. That¡¯s what we love to do. We go out there and compete; we¡¯ve done it all season. I mean, we¡¯ve played in big games all season. Every game in this league is a big one. Every time they play the Dallas Cowboys, especially when you¡¯re winning, you¡¯ve got a target on your back, and you¡¯re going to get the team’s best. So I think the season has prepared us for this.¡±

¡°It means everything,¡± Prescott said. ¡°It¡¯s about how you finish, not how you start. At the end of the day, the quarterback position and the team is defined by how they do in the postseason. We¡¯ve got to move forward and get better doing it.¡±

Nene Mens Jersey ¡°I just think experience is experience. Some guys have some experience; some guys don’t,¡± Dallas coach Jason Garrett said. ¡°My experience in life is you use your experiences to help you with new experiences.

For rookies in particular, every experience they have up until this point is the first time they have done it. It was their first rookie minicamp. It was their first OTA. It was their first minicamp. It was their first training camp. On and on and on.

¡°What you try to do is encourage them to use their experiences up to this point in life. In Zeke’s case, playing at Ohio State. In Dak’s case, playing at Mississippi State. And use them in your experiences you are about to embark on.

I encourage everybody to do that. We all have to do that in life. Some guys are experienced [in] the playoffs. They will use those experiences. Those who aren’t will use different experiences.¡±
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Garrett has not told his players — rookie or otherwise — what to expect in the playoffs. That would go outside his day-to-day mantra. But players know the intensity grows, just as it grew from the preseason to the regular season, and from nondivision game to division game.

NHL scores 2017: Bruins¡¯ loss complicates Atlantic Division playoff push

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The Bruins have to play just one more game to be done with half of their season. Much like the Blackhawks, the Bruins are leading the NHL in games played after just a few days into 2017.

Unlike the Blackhawks ¡ª who are leading the Central Division ¡ª the Bruins are in a precarious situation in the Eastern Conference. Tied with the Senators at 44 points with the Lightning right on their heels just two points behind, any lost points have the potential to bite them.

The A¡¯s are never as fun as when they¡¯re building a young team of scrappy rookies, and that¡¯s the direction 2017 is currently headed. I couldn¡¯t be happier.

Limited Womens Mika Zibanejad Jersey From that second paragraph, I¡¯m talking about, in order of reference: Cotton, Mengden, Alcantara, Overton, Montas, Maxwell, Healy, Olson, Nunez, Wendle, Pinder, Brugman, Wahl, Chapman, Barreto. Of that group, Chapman isn¡¯t on the 40-man yet, but that¡¯ll just be a formality.

Our LF hit 42 homers last year. Our SS hit 27. Our catcher has double-digit pop. Our young 3B was on pace for 30 over a full season, and the guy behind him in line nearly hit 40 in the upper minors. The new free agent bat is good for double-digits, and those unproven prospects themselves bring enough power to the table that they should run into a few regardless of their overall effectiveness on the diamond. Even in the worst-case scenario, the A¡¯s should do their share of bashing in 2017.

Lions clinch playoff berth with Washington loss

The Detroit Lions are in the postseason, regardless of the team’s result in a Sunday night matchup against the Green Bay Packers. The Lions enter Week 17 with losses in the last two week, but earned a spot after Washington lost to the New York Giants earlier Sunday.

After starting the season at 1-3, Detroit won eight out of its next nine games and rallied to the division lead. But things went south for the Lions when Matthew Stafford suffered an injury in December.

Washington is a 7-point favorite at FedExField at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Since going 0-5 SU and ATS in their previous five games against the Giants, Washington is 2-0 SU and ATS in the last two games in this head-to-head series.

Washington took care of business last Saturday on the road against the Chicago Bears and got the help they needed from around the league to re-take control of their own destiny. The 41-21 win brought Washington’s record to 8-4-1 SU and 10-3 ATS over the team’s last 13 games. Washington’s defense has been suspect all season, but it came up big with five interceptions in last week’s blowout win.

In a Week 14 victory against the Chicago Bears, Stafford dislocated the middle finger on his throwing hand and has to play with a glove for the rest of the season. He wasn’t his usual self the following week; the veteran quarterback failed to lead his team into the end zone in a 17-6 loss to the Giants.

Matthew Stafford spent most of the year on the fringes of the MVP conversation, but he’s thrown two interceptions and no touchdowns during this two-game losing streak. The Lions need him more than ever, but the finger injury on his throwing hand is still bothering him.