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on Brent Sutters
« : marzo 01, 2019, 12:37:45 am »
PITTSBURGH -- Since Jerome Bettis retired after the 2005 NFL season, the Pittsburgh Steelers have searched for a big, bruising running back in his mould. The list of hopefuls has been long, if not particularly distinguished. Verron Haynes, Najee Davenport, Carey Davis, Gary Russell, Frank Summers, Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman all failed to consistently provide production in short-yardage and goal line situations. Enter LeGarrette Blount. The 6-foot, 250-pound veteran certainly looks the part. And while he has a long way to go to be mentioned with the likes of Bettis, there have been plenty of flashes during his four seasons in the league. Blount averaged 5.0 yards per carry while splitting time with Stevan Ridley in New England last season, and gashed the Indianapolis Colts for 166 yards and four touchdowns in the playoffs. Though second-year back LeVeon Bell remains the starter, Blount is confident he can make an impact no matter what situation. "I know they brought me in here to run the football, so I hope there are plenty of carries to go around," Blount said Wednesday. "I know that LeVeon is going to get his fair share, so I hope theres enough for all of us." Bell, last years second-round pick, missed the opening three games while recovering from a preseason foot injury. But he still played nearly 700 snaps, a heavy workload the 6-foot-1, 230-pound Bell managed with ease. Still, the Steelers will find opportunities to go from the patient and pragmatic Bell to the bruising Blount, with the emphasis on bruising. "Thats my running style," Blount said. "Thats how I run the football, and I feel like (Bell) is also a big, tough running back, too. So, thats just how this team is built, with a physical running game, and I think thats what theyre trying to get back to. So, hopefully, we can do that." Blount noted a balanced offence is needed to make a run to the Super Bowl such as the ones by Seattle and Denver last year. The champion Seahawks had Marshawn Lynch running the ball and Russell Wilson throwing it, while the Broncos ran the ball with Knowshon Moreno when Peyton Manning wasnt breaking NFL passing records. "I think its huge for us to (sign Blount), because Ive always said that we need to be a balanced offence," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "So, we need to run the ball. We need to be great at running the ball, and weve got guys that want to be great at running the ball. So, hopefully, we can do it and do it successfully." Blount added that while his body type and size make him an ideal power back, he has a variety of skill sets, such as catching the football and running away from defenders in the open field. But he certainly has proven he can run over them as well. Those attributes, combined with Bells slashing style, should give the Steelers a solid one-two punch. "I think we have a really good mix of running backs," Blount said. "(But) Ive seen the NFL Network, and they have these top 10 or top five running back duos in the NFL. I noticed that were not one of them, and I dont like it. In all honesty, I believe theyre downgrading the skill level that we have in our backfield. . I think thats kind of disrespectful." Does that mean Blount and Bell have something to prove? "Were not going to go out here and go on about how were not in that group," Blount said. "But were going to go out there and show that we belong there with our performance." NOTES: RB Dri Archer has missed the opening two OTAs, just like linebacker Jordan Zumwalt from UCLA, because his school is on the quarters system and their class has not yet graduated. . OTAs continue Thursday and also run Tuesday through Thursday next week. Vans Shoes Cheap . -- Jay Haas and Peter Jacobsen took the second-round lead Saturday in the Champions Tours Legends of Golf, teaming for a 6-under 48 in windy conditions on the par-3 Top of the Rock course. Vans Shoes From China .J. Ellis have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year contract. http://www.clearancevans.com/ . When the Dallas Mavericks needed to stop a Golden State rally in the fourth quarter, they looked for defensive help from the rookie point guard playing in just his sixth game. Discount Vans Shoes . A top pitching prospect, one who the ball club is pinning some of its future hopes, takes the spot of a veteran who once was viewed as a future ace but who, to this point, hasnt realized his potential and may never. Vans Shoes Outlet . Carling Bassett-Seguso was a world No. 8 almost 30 years ago. Currently 13th, Bouchard is assured of equalling that when the next rankings are released Monday.TORONTO – He hasnt played since breaking a bone in his right hand in a fight on Nov. 11, but Connor McDavid showed up for Hockey Canadas World Junior selection camp with his game face on. You dont reach the level hes at (16 goals, 35 assists in 18 games with the Erie Otters this season) at the age hes at (17) without being intense. That intensity was evident early in the camps first on-ice workout Thursday evening at the MasterCard Centre. McDavid, taking part in a full practice for the first time since having his cast removed Tuesday, mishandled the puck on consecutive plays in the same drill. He was clearly frustrated. He apologized, said Guelph Storm right winger Robby Fabbri, who was on McDavid’s line during much of the practice. Everyone makes mistakes, but he doesnt make too many of them. I just gave him a pat and told him to relax. You apologize to your teammates when you make a mistake, McDavid said. I messed up there and twice in a row with Robby so I felt bad about it. Hes a good friend of mine and he came over and told me not to worry about it. A little later in the practice the team was put through a shot-blocking drill. The assistant coaches fired foam pucks at players from a few feet away. McDavid, who has not yet been cleared for contact, wanted to be part of it. But after McDavid blocked his first shot head coach Benoit Groulx intervened asking the favourite to go first in the next NHL Draft to sit out the drill. I told him, You know what? I dont want my face on TV tomorrow [because you got hurt] for this reason so get out of there! Groulx said with a chuckle. I just went once, so I guess 1-for-1 so that makes me 100 per cent, McDavid said with a wry grin. Earlier in the practice, McDavid wired a slap shot past Jets goalie prospect Eric Comrie high on the glove side. It was a thing of beauty. McDavid was, of course, nonplussed when asked about it afterwards. I was taking slap-shots with my cast on so I think you guys are making too big of a deal about it. I’ve been skating for three weeks. Ive been skating fully for three weeks so this is kind of just another day. McDavid suggested his recent layoff from game action may actually be a blessing when it comes to the World Juniors, because helll be fresher than others.dddddddddddd My legs have felt probably better than they did before I got hurt, he noted. There is a reason McDavids every move was and will continue to be under the microscope. Hes seen as the next big star in hockey: a generational talent, who can change a franchises fortunes. And for Canada he is someone, who will figure prominently in the quest to end a five-year gold medal drought. You can tell the legs are there, no problem, said Groulx. It was good to see him. Just having him on the ice was good for everyone. The Canadian bench boss, an assistant on Brent Sutters staff a year ago, says Hockey Canada is going to be very cautious when it comes to the emerging superstar. We want to be patient with him in order to have him at 100 per cent. We don’t want to put Connor McDavid on the ice at 75 per cent. We are going to have to wait and see to how he reacts to practicing. The hope is that McDavid will be able to play in at least one of the teams three pre-tournament games: Dec. 19 against Russia in Toronto, Dec. 21 against Sweden in Ottawa or on Dec. 23 against Switzerland in Montreal. McDavid, for his part, seemed supremely confident that he will be ready for the tournament opener on Boxing Day. Playing mostly on the wing, McDavid, a natural centre, had just four points in seven games last year when he became just the sixth 16-year-old to crack Canadas World Junior roster. This year hes poised to be a leader on the squad. It’s a big opportunity and perhaps the final one on this stage for a player, who appears destined to make the NHL early in his career. And the fact the event will take place on home soil makes it all the more special. Everyones excited, McDavid said when asked specifically about the added pressure of playing in Montreal and Toronto. Were not feeling too much pressure now. Being at home, its a blessing, honestly, its an opportunity that not a whole lot of people get to do. On Wednesday, Scott Salmond, Hockey Canadas vice-president of hockey operations, declared that he felt like Canada was an underdog at the event during an interview with QMI News Agency. But McDavid has high expectations. I dont see any reason why we cant [win] it all, he said. ' ' '